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News » Houston Astros Inside Pitch 2009-03-01

Houston Astros Inside Pitch 2009-03-01

Houston Astros Inside Pitch 2009-03-01
Astros ace Roy Oswalt heads off to join Team USA probably in the best shape he's ever been at this time in spring training.

On Feb. 26, he struck out the side in the first inning and gave up two runs over three innings with four strikeouts against the Braves. At a time in camp when starters are limited to one or maybe two innings, the veteran right-hander made a 53-pitch appearance in his first Grapefruit League start.

"I'm ahead of last year by a lot," he said. "Everything feels pretty good. The ball was a little slick today, but everything felt pretty well. I'm way ahead of schedule from last year, for sure. I think I started earlier and it helped out a lot.

"To go out and throw 50 pitches your first outing is pretty good, especially getting up and down. That's the biggest thing. You can throw 50 pitches before you come, but if you do it consistently, it's a little different than getting up and down, getting up and down, getting up and down. Today was good. You get to go out there three different times and get loose. I felt pretty well."

In his only start before heading to the World Baseball Classic, Oswalt held the Braves to one hit, a two-run home run by David Ross in the second inning.

He walked one batter, hit another and threw 34 of his 53 pitches for strikes, finishing with a 94 mph fastball for a called third strike on Chipper Jones. He also struck out Jones, his future WBC teammate, in the first inning on a changeup, a pitch he has worked on this spring.

"It's feeling better," he said. "I'm getting a little more confidence in it."

Jones was impressed with the changeup, saying, "The bottom fell out of it."

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: March 1, 2009

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