Roy Oswalt says he has a "small window" to win

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roy oswalt headshot astros.jpgRoy Oswalt addressed
reporters on Saturday, one day after it was revealed that his agent
Bob Garber informed Astros owner Drayton McLane of his request for a trade (via
Bernardo
Fallas of the Houston Chronicle
).

“I don’t want
people
to think I’m leaving because we’re not doing well,” Oswalt said
Saturday. “I have a small window (to return to the playoffs).”

Oswalt, 32, has two guaranteed years remaining on his contract. The veteran right-hander hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2005, when the Astros lost to the White Sox in the World Series. Though he has shifted his focus to joining an “immediate contender,” Oswalt said that he would consider coming back to Houston
to finish his career.

“I told (Astros
owner) Drayton (McLane) I’d love to come back and finish my career,”
Oswalt said. “I’d play another year just to do that.”

It’s one thing to read these quotes, but I recommend you watch this video posted by Alyson Footer, the Astros’ senior director of social media. Oswalt isn’t big on being the center of attention, but his reasoning sounds pretty straightforward and honest. Let’s hope Oswalt’s friend Drayton McLane does him and his team a favor by sending him to a contender and netting a few promising prospects in return.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.