Minute Maid Park | 8:05 | Duke vs. Roy Oswalt | Box
I guess there is no shame in being shutout by Roy Oswalt who set the Astros club record for most consecutive scoreless innings pitched. He allowed three singles and no walks over nine innings. The Astros defense recorded three double plays, meaning the Pirates sent up only 27 players to the plate. 70 of Oswalt’s 90 pitches went for strikes.
The Pirates had as many hits as they did errors. Zach Duke probably deserved better. He gave up all six Houston runs in 4-2/3, but only two of those were earned. Five of the six hits that Duke allowed came in the fifth inning when five of the runs scored. The inning was fueled by a throwing error from Doug Mientkiewicz trying to start a double play. Floodgates opened. Ballgame. Oswalt contributed a two run single in that inning.
Former Bucco Jose Castillo started at third for Houston, singled and scored a run.
Among pitchers born in 1977, Roy Oswalt trails only Roy Halladay in career wins. Good year to name your son Roy. Halladay has six more wins in 28 more career starts. Oswalt is 14-9 with a 3.72 ERA – an off year for him perhaps? The Pirates beat Oswalt on June 4 to drop his record to 4-6. Since then he is 10-3 with a 2.35 ERA and is coming off of a one hit shutout against Colorado in Coors.
His career mark is 11-6 with a 2.57 ERA. The Pirates are hitting .310 collectively against him. Freddy Sanchez is 9-27. Nate McLouth is 8-20. The team is managing a meager .418 slugging percentage off Oswalt, with just one homer in 184 ABs.
Zach Duke is also coming off of a shutout. He was the winner on June 4 against Houston and Oswalt and since that time, he and Oswalt have headed in opposite directions. Duke is 2-9 with a 5.35 ERA in his last 16 starts, despite that shutout. That win in June was Duke’s first ever against Houston. He is 1-3 with a 3.80 career ERA in 47-1/3 innings.
The Astros are hitting .282 against him. Lance Berkman is 6-18 with four RBI and five BB.