Rangers knock around potential trade target Roy Oswalt

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Teams will often acquire players who have done well against them, which is natural on one level and kind of silly on another.
For instance, a couple years ago the Twins acquired veteran outfielder Craig Monroe from the Cubs and repeatedly talked about how he was a career .321 hitter against them. Monroe went on to hit .202 in 58 games for the Twins, who released him in August.
I bring all of this up partly because I’m still bitter about the Twins wasting $3.8 million on Monroe and partly because the Rangers knocked Roy Oswalt around yesterday after various reports put them in the mix for the Astros’ on-the-block right-hander.
Oswalt coughed up a season-high eight runs, including homers to Josh Hamilton and Michael Young, and fell to 4-6 with a 4.54 ERA in 12 career starts against the Rangers. Afterward manager Ron Washington stressed that Oswalt “still looked like he had something left” despite the poor outing, which is definitely true.
Thanks to horrendous run support from Houston’s terrible lineup (and the occasional clunker like he turned in yesterday) Oswalt leads the league with 10 losses compared to just five wins, but don’t let that fool you into thinking he’s pitched poorly. Oswalt has a 3.55 ERA, .231 opponents’ batting average, and 97/29 K/BB ratio in 104 innings, which is certainly good enough for him to be 10-5 instead of 5-10.
Of course, also worth noting is that Oswalt has a 3.73 ERA in 28 career interleague starts, compared to a 3.20 mark in the NL.

Marlins, Giants get into heated beanball war

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You may have heard that Giants closer Hunter Strickland broke his hand punching a door in frustration after Monday night’s subpar performance. He’ll miss six to eight weeks as a result. Strickland came in to protect a 4-2 lead but ended up giving up three runs. The tying run was knocked in by Lewis Brinson on a single to right field. Brinson moved to third base on a go-ahead single by Miguel Rojas, which prompted manager Bruce Bochy to take Strickland out of the game.

On his way to the dugout, Strickland started chirping at Brinson. Much like Bryce Harper and Strickland, Brinson and Strickland have a bit of a history. Last Thursday, Brinson handed Strickland a blown save with a sacrifice fly to deep center field. Brinson was happy to help his team tie the game, pumping his fast and saying, “Let’s go” at no one in particular. That rubbed Strickland the wrong way. Everything seems to rub Strickland the wrong way.

During Tuesday night’s game, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez threw at Brinson with the first pitch, a 92 MPH fastball. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher issued warnings to both benches. Manager Don Mattingly came out to argue, suggesting that his team hadn’t done anything wrong so it was unfair to essentially take the inside part of the plate away from his pitchers. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly could be seen saying, “You’re next” to catcher Buster Posey.

The Giants scored twice in the bottom of the second against Dan Straily to extend their lead to 3-0. Posey came to the plate with a runner on first base and one out. Straily hit Posey with a 91 MPH fastball on the first pitch, prompting ejections of both Straily and Mattingly. Posey was hit on the arm. If the pitch had come in a bit lower and hit Posey on the wrist or hand, Posey might have had to go on the disabled list for a couple months. Or if the pitch had hit Posey a couple of inches higher, in the head, then who knows what would have happened.

Things calmed down from there, thankfully. The two clubs have one more game against each other in San Francisco on Wednesday and that will be the final time they meet this season. If anything further is going to happen — and hopefully, nothing happens — then it will come tomorrow.

Straily will almost certainly be facing a suspension and a fine, as will Mattingly. It’s less clear if Rodriguez and/or Bochy will be reprimanded for throwing at Brinson, even though it was fairly obvious the pitch was intentional. Regardless, the punishments amount to just one missed start for the pitchers, which isn’t nearly enough of a detriment to deter beanball wars.