Roy Oswalt twirled eight razor-sharp innings and combined with Michael Stutes on a 5-0 victory over the Nationals, marking the Phillies' 16th shutout of the season.
Oswalt used a zesty fastball to collect a season-high nine strikeouts in what can only be considered his best start of the season. Just a few weeks ago, the veteran right-hander was ailing from chronic back problems and painting a grim portrait of his future. But after tonight, he's pitching more like the firecracker the Phils acquired last season at the deadline and is reasserting himself as a vital piece to the postseason puzzle.
Offensively, the Phils staked Oswalt to a lead using a Wilson Valdez two-run triple, a Hunter Pence solo shot (15) and a Jimmy Rollins two-run single. Meanwhile, John Mayberry Jr. had another signature night. Has Mayberry officially worked his way into a permanent role?
By sparing the bullpen, the Phils bought a much-needed breather for their bullpen, just in time for the next weather system to move through tomorrow.
Heilman, Cust released at Triple-A: The Phillies have released veterans Aaron Heilman and Jack Cust after brief auditions with the IronPigs, which is quite telling considering that rosters are set to expand in a matter of days. Their careers appear to be over. [Link]