ARLINGTON, Texas -- Roy Oswalt has made it clear that wins and loses are the only stats that he cares about. As a result, he is not too concerned after his second straight 13-hit game in his first loss of the season.
The 34-year-old veteran had not allowed 13 hits in a game in his career prior to 2012. Now he has had no fewer than nine hits in each of his three starts, including his 13 hits allowed in the Rangers' 19-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox on July 3. He pitched 4 2/3 innings in that loss and allowed 11 runs (nine earned), a walk and four strikeouts. He is the fifth starter in Rangers history to allow 11 runs in a game, and his 13 hits are one shy of the Rangers' record for hits allowed in a game.
"I once told myself if I get to a point where I have to come out in the first inning I’d probably have to retire, I thought it might be that point," Oswalt said with a laugh. "It wasn’t going too well. I gave up the three long balls and I thought after that I could at least go out there and at least throw up a quality start, but I only got to four. It was just one of those starts."
Oswalt is aware that his start against the White Sox was not his best, but he can put it in perspective. He said he knows what was wrong with his mechanics and he has made the adjustment, particularly with his fastball. Ron Washington saw the same issues with Oswalt's mechanics, but he is confident in his ability.
"He didn’t have his best breaking stuff, but sometimes that’s there and sometimes it’s not there," Washington said. "He got hurt more with his fastball because it was center cut. He’s a veteran, so we’ll see how he does."
Despite the blowout loss and multiple hits, Oswalt's mantra remains the same and he said he does not care about any stats other than wins.
"I’ve said this before: it doesn’t matter if you lose 1-0 or 10-0, you still lost," He said. "I’m here to win games, I’m not here to put up numbers. That’s the only thing I’m looking for.”
Oswalt said that the era of fantasy baseball has put undue emphasis on statistics. He said he wants young players to have the same understanding that he has about the importance of team statistics over individual ones.
"A lot of people read into it a little too much and start breaking down stuff," He said. "I think the fantasy baseball things have gotten too involved with baseball. As a starting pitcher, your job is to keep the game close and win ballgames. It doesn’t matter if you strike out 15 a game, if you don’t win, to me that’s not a quality start.
"Your job is to get deep in ballgames. I try to tell that to young guys. You can have a career year and have a losing record. Look at Nolan Ryan, I think he had a 10-14 year and won the ERA title. For us starting pitchers, there’s nothing guaranteed as far as wins. But if you pitch deep into the ballgame, that means your giving your team a chance to win."
Oswalt will get a chance at his third win of the season Sunday when he starts in the Rangers first-half finale against the Minnesota Twins.