Roy Oswalt talks a bunch, says nothing

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oswalt sitting.jpgBefore Friday’s opener against the Yankees, Roy Oswalt dodged the obvious questions about a potential trade to the Bronx (via Brian McTaggart of MLB.com).

“From the very beginning, I’ve said I want to go to an organization that
wants to win, and the Yankees surely want to win,” Oswalt said. “I’m
going to let the front office and my agent handle that. My main focus
right now is just to put us in a situation to win every time I go out
there. The other stuff can handle itself.”

Oswalt, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, has already made it clear that he would like to go to a contender, but he downplayed a recent report by Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse that he would only accept a trade to a specific list of teams.

“Somebody said something about a list [of desirable destination teams]
not too long ago, and I don’t know anything about that,” Oswalt said.
“We’ll see where I fit as far as my options and go from there. So far, I
haven’t heard anything from the front office. They haven’t come back
and said anything, and until they approach me about a team that fits for
me and fits for the team, nothing’s been said.”

Some will take McTaggart’s report to mean that Oswalt would consider being traded to the Yankees and that could be very well be true. They certainly fit the mold of “a contender” and have the deepest of deep pockets. But in the end it’s not a whole lot different from what he told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post when he was asked about the Nationals two weeks ago. Nothing much.

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.