Whoever said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder probably wasn't making reference to baseball.
Based on A's outfielder Josh Reddick's reaction to Roy Oswalt's best start as a Ranger, it seems like the maxim could have uses not previously imagined. While many would find Oswalt's 6.1 innings of three-hit, one-run ball without any walks to be a perfectly beautiful night's work, Reddick was left underwhelmed.
"I don't feel he was very good," Reddick said. "I felt like we had a lot of swing and misses. We had a pretty good go at him. We saw a lot of pitches early, just bad swings in front of the ball. I don’t feel like his stuff was very far out there."
Reddick accounted for the one run with a home run so he's as good a choice as anyone to cast aspersions in the wake of the 6-1 Rangers win. It's just that his aspersions don't make a whole lot of sense.
The A's came into Tuesday night on their hottest offensive stretch of the season, hitting nine homers and scoring 24 runs in their sweep of the Twins over the weekend, and Oswalt stopped them cold. Those bad swings that Reddick mentioned were nowhere to be found in those three games, which were all played with the same players as the loss on Tuesday night, and they didn't just show up out of nowhere. They were caused by a veteran pitcher dealing at a high level and making batters look foolish.
Athletes are supremely confident, so we can't be too shocked that Reddick would rather make it about the A's not doing their job. That doesn't make what he said any less ridiculous, although in the end it is far less important than what Oswalt did on Tuesday night.
Oswalt is pitching himself into form, something that's always easier to talk about in the abstract than it is to watch unfold in front of you. Oswalt wasn't ready in his first three starts, but the Rangers had nowhere else to turn. He's looked more like the Oswalt of old in his last two games and Tuesday night found him in total control of his abilities.
A few more starts like that and it will be hard for any beholder to say that Oswalt isn't pitching beautifully.