What Roy Oswalt meant to the Astros

With Roy Oswalt now officially out of Houston, it’s worth recounting his importance to the organization with which he’s spent his entire career. Even while on winning teams in the first half of the previous decade, Oswalt spent much of his tenure with Houston out of the national spotlight. Here's some perspective on his significance with not only the Astros franchise, but in baseball history in the state of Texas.

• Oswalt has 143 wins since being called up to the majors with Houston in 2001. In that span, no other Astro has won more than 59 games (Wandy Rodriguez). His total of 143 victories since the beginning of the 2001 season is 28 more than any other pitcher in the National League (2nd is Greg Maddux, 115), and three more than any other pitcher who did it entirely for one organization (Mark Buehrle, 140).

• Oswalt started Game 3 of the 2005 World Series – the first ever World Series game played in the state of Texas. Between the Colt .45’s/Astros and Rangers, there were 12,519 major league baseball games played (regular season and playoffs) in Texas before Roy started that game on October 25, 2005.

• In Oswalt’s seven postseason starts, the Astros went 5-2. Roy’s personal postseason record is 4-0. Nolan Ryan’s was 1-2. No pitcher has recorded more postseason outs in Astros history than Oswalt – 134. Ryan, the man synonymous with baseball in the state of Texas, recorded 123 playoff outs in an Astro uniform.

• Oswalt pitched 1,932 innings as an Astro. Only Larry Dierker and Joe Niekro have thrown more innings for the franchise. Since 2001, no other Astro has even 1,000 innings pitched. The two men who are closest to Oswalt in that span, Wandy Rodriguez and Wade Miller, combined are still more than 350 innings short of Roy’s total.

Best W-L From Aug. 1-End of Season

Houston especially enjoyed having Oswalt on its team around this time of year. Among active pitchers, he owns the highest career win percentage from August 1st until the end of the season among those with a minimum of 30 decisions over that span. Oswalt is 28-7 in August, 26-9 in September and 2-0 in October.

• Oswalt won 20 games twice – in 2004 and 2005. Nolan Ryan never won 20 games as an Astro. Mike Scott only did it once, as did J.R. Richard and Dierker. Only one other pitcher in team history won 20 games twice: Niekro. There have been 12 19+ win seasons by pitchers in team history, and Oswalt has a quarter of them.

• The Astros have won three playoff series in their somewhat meager history. Oswalt won two of the clinching games in those series, both of which came on the road: Game 5 of the 2004 NLDS against Atlanta, and Game 6 of the 2005 NLCS in St. Louis – the game AFTER Albert Pujols' soul-crushing home run off Brad Lidge. Game 6 of that series was the last game ever played in the old Busch Stadium.

Last offseason, a different Roy was traded after being the most important player for his franchise for about a decade. One can argue that Oswalt meant far more to the Astros than Roy Halladay did to the Blue Jays – Oswalt's successes in the postseason gave Houston baseball fans some of their fondest memories. Now, it’s official that the two men named Roy, trapped in baseball mediocrity for the past few years, will be on the same staff in Philadelphia.