KISSIMMEE, Fla. — In what continues to be a thorn in the Astros’ side this spring, heavy rain was responsible for the cancellation of Sunday afternoon’s matchup against the New York Mets at Osceola County Stadium.
This marks the third time in Grapefruit League action in which an Astros’ game got canceled due to inclement weather.
Once again, three-time All-Star ace Roy Oswalt, who was recently named the team’s Opening Day starter April 5 against the San Francisco Giants, had to take an alternative measure to get his work in for the day.
While veteran right-hander Brett Myers has already logged four starts this spring, Oswalt remains at just two, with rainouts responsible for the cancellation of his other two scheduled starts.
Don’t be alarmed — Oswalt is back and looks better than ever. Behind a rekindled spirit and rejuvenated hunger, the 32-year-old right-hander wants nothing more than to silence his critics.
So far, Oswalt has posted a 1-0 record without yielding a single run over his two starts against the Atlanta Braves (March 6) and Boston Red Sox (March 16).
If it provides any comfort, he managed to strikeout the side after allowing a single in the first inning of Sunday’s unofficial game against the Mets. Also, the Astros took a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the inning before the official stoppage.
Oswalt tossed 21 pitches (13 for strikes).
Despite not being able to log as many innings due to the inclement weather, Oswalt always finds a way to complete his required work by throwing to live hitters in the batting cage.
“The biggest thing is just getting my pitch count up,” Oswalt said during postgame comments. “So maybe next start, I’ll probably stay the same pitch count. I think it was going to be around 75-80. I still got three or four starts left until the end of the spring. So as long as we’re close to 100 pitches by the end of the spring, it’s no big deal.”
Manager Brad Mills and pitching coach Brad Arnsberg have recently praised Oswalt’s strong consistency, leading Mills to make the predictable announcement Saturday morning of his Opening Day starter.
“He’s been healthy,” Mills told The Associated Press. “He’s gone about his business the way a No. 1 should and he’s throwing the ball like a No. 1 should. Each time he goes out there it seems to be icing on the cake.”
Fortunately for the Astros, Sunday was a split-squad day, meaning the remainder of the team traveled to Fort Myers, Fla., to take on the Red Sox. Although Houston’s split squad was left with a no-decision in Kissimmee, the other half secured a 10-7 win against Boston.
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