Tonight's game against the Colorado Rockies at Rangers Ballpark marks the culmination of a three-month courting process between the Texas Rangers and Roy Oswalt.
Oswalt will finally make his starting debut for the Rangers roughly a month after the club signed him and sent him to the minors to make a few starts in what was essentially his spring training.
Oswalt followed the footsteps of a couple of his former teammates in Houston, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, and scouted out teams he might want to pitch for after the season began since he became a free agent when the Philadelphia Phillies declined their option to pick him up for the 2012 season. Oswalt struggled at times during his minor-league stint (3 Triple-A Round Rock starts and one at Double-A Frisco) but his last start in Round Rock was a good one, throwing 100 pitches over six innings.
His last start came in the 2011 National League Division Series when the St. Louis Cardinals beat him en route to winning the World Series. His last regular-season start came against the Atlanta Braves back on Sept. 27 when he tossed six scoreless innings.
The Rangers will likely be looking for something in between those two outings as Oswalt will face the Rockies, a team with a pretty good grasp of Oswalt from his days of pitching in Houston and Philadelphia.
Todd Helton has the most experience against Oswalt (8-for-29, 2 HRs) while Michael Cuddyer is 3-for-8 with a double, a homer and two RBIs. Perhaps the Rockies' best hitter, Carlos Gonzalez is 0-for-6 against Oswalt in his career.