Roy Oswalt allowed three runs on seven hits during a rough seven-inning rehab start Thursday night for Single-A Clearwater then dipped out of the minor league clubhouse before chatting with reporters.
Why the rush? This tweet from Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer might explain it:
[Carlos] Ruiz said Oswalt’s fastball had no life for most of the start. Off by about 4 mph in general.
Gelb then spoke with a scout, who confirmed that Oswalt did not have his normal fastball velocity. The 33-year-old veteran regularly hits 93 MPH when he’s at his best, but was clocking in between 88-90 MPH on Thursday evening in Florida.
The Phillies were hoping to activate Oswalt from the disabled list in time for a Tuesday night matchup with the Cardinals, but the poor radar gun numbers could certainly lead to a reassessment of that plan.
Oswalt has been sidelined since the last week of April with lower back inflammation. He had a 3.33 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 21/7 K/BB ratio over his first five starts of the 2011 regular season.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.