When we were previewing the series with the White Sox in Tuesday's On Deck, we included a note that Roy Oswalt was coming off a fairly poor start against the Tigers.
The concern was that Oswalt wasn't quite ready to face the tougher lineups in the American League after such an abbreviated time to prepare for battle. That fear was realized on Tuesday night when the White Sox took Oswalt for a punching bag and battered him all over the South Side of Chicago.
Oswalt tied his career-high by allowing 13 hits, a mark he set in the aforementioned start (and, it must be noted, victory) against Detroit. He also set career highs by allowing 11 runs and nine earned runs, marks that surely have some wondering if the Rangers might have overlooked Oswalt's expiration date when they checked the carton.
Oswalt has now allowed 35 hits over his first three starts, the most he has ever given up over such a span, and he's the first pitcher since 2008 to give up 13 or more hits in consecutive starts. That's quite a ledger that Oswalt has built in a very brief time as a Ranger.
It's no wonder that Ron Washington was left to make a face that should be the dictionary's new definition of disgust.
The Rangers aren't going to give up on Oswalt after three starts. Given the injuries to the rest of the staff, they can't really afford to cut bait at this point in time. Beyond that, they had to expect some rough patches while Oswalt pitches himself into proper condition. They might not have expected anything quite this bad, but these things are all relative.
And the Rangers might even wind up with good reason to thank Oswalt for Tuesday night's fiasco when all is said and done. Only one team has ever won the World Series in a season that saw them allow 19 runs in a game multiple times. Thanks to Oswalt, the Rangers can become the second on that exclusive list.