Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Oswalt has Rangers thinking about 1930
Roy Oswalt spent the first few months at home before signing with the Texas Rangers at the end of May. He won his first two starts, but Tuesday night was a different story.
The Chicago White Sox greeted Oswalt with three home runs in the first inning and never looked back, winning the game 19-2. Oswalt allowed 11 runs, nine of them earned -- both career highs -- and tied his career high allowing 13 hits. By all accounts, it was his worst start in his major league career.
The Rangers allowed at least 19 runs for the second time this season. The two-time defending AL champs don’t have history on their side -- the last team to allow 19 runs at least twice in the same season and win the World Series was the 1930 Philadelphia Athletics.
White Sox starter Chris Sale, one of the front-runners to start the All-Star game, was staked to a 7-0 lead after two innings. From the third inning on, he threw more than two-thirds of his pitches in the strike zone. In the first two innings, fewer than half of his pitches were in the zone.
Rangers hitters went 2-for-15 in at-bats ending with his fastball. Ten of the 15 balls in play (67 percent) against Sale's fastballs were grounders, well above his season average (below 50 percent).
Elsewhere around the majors:
• Chipper Jones went 5-for-5 with four RBIs in the Atlanta Braves win over the Chicago Cubs, his third career five-hit game and first in almost 10 years. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he’s just the fifth player in the past 25 years with a five-hit game in his forties.
Jones had a five-hit day despite taking only six swings. He's the 11th player this season with a five-hit game but the second to do it on only six swings (no one has done it with five). Jones hit three balls classified as line drives, a season high for him.
• The Philadelphia Phillies lost their sixth straight game -- their second six-game losing streak this season -- to fall to 10 games below .500 for the first time since July 22, 2002.
• On the other hand, the Pittsburgh Pirates got a walk-off home run from Drew Sutton to improve to 44-36. It’s the first time they’ve been eight games over .500 since the last day of the 1992 season. That’s the last time the Pirates made the playoffs and the last season in a Pirates uniform for Barry Bonds.
• Aramis Ramirez hit his sixth career walk-off home run to give the Milwaukee Brewers their sixth walk-off win of the season, tied for the most in the major leagues (with the Pirates, among others). It’s the third straight walk-off home run for Ramirez that has come in extra innings.
• Finally, there were 183 runs scored across MLB on Tuesday, the highest-scoring day in the majors this season.