Oswalt set for Phillies debut

WASHINGTON -- The Philadelphia Phillies won't have to wait long to see Roy Oswalt.

The 32-year-old Oswalt, who was acquired on Thursday in a trade with the Houston Astros, arrived at the team hotel in Washington later that night and met his new teammates on Friday afternoon -- just a few hours before he was set to face the Nationals.

Oswalt was sitting in front of his cubicle when the locker room opened and a few Phillies walked over to introduce themselves. Oswalt was 6-12 despite a 3.24 ERA for Houston, where he spent 10 seasons and had a record of 143-82.

"He's got a real good Southern accent," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, when asked about his new pitcher. "He seems like he's real happy to be here."

Manuel is glad that Oswalt was set to pitch for his team right after the trade.

"He gets his first game out of the way -- and then things settle down," he said. "Then, he'll pitch like we want him to do."

Manuel believes that Oswalt, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels give Philadelphia its best pitching staff in his six seasons as manager -- perhaps even stronger than that staff that included Hamels, Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez.

"I thought we were good. This has a chance to be better, of course," Manuel said.

The Phillies entered Friday's game as baseball's hottest team, riding an eight-game winning streak that moved them 2½ games behind the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves.