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Oswalt pegged as Astros Opening Day starter

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Oswalt pegged as Astros Opening Day starter

Postby WebHamster » Mon Feb 23, 2004 3:00 am

Kissimmee, FL (Sports Network) - The Houston Astros named their Opening Day starter Sunday, and newcomers Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens will not get the nod on April 5 against the San Francisco Giants at Minute Maid Park. Instead, ace Roy Oswalt will be rewarded for his strong finish to the 2003 season.

Manager Jimy Williams announced his decision before pitchers and catchers began their workout. He also laid out his plans for his projected starting rotation.

Following Oswalt will be Pettitte, Clemens, Wade Miller and Tim Redding. Pettitte and Clemens both came home to Houston this offseason with impressive resumes. However, Oswalt also has been equally impressive during his first few years in the majors.

The 26-year-old righthander finished last season just 10-5 with a 2.97 ERA despite being hampered by a nagging hamstring injury that landed him on the disabled list on three separate occasions. Oswalt still managed to fight through pain and finish the season with a strong September, going 4-0 in the season's final month. He was then forced to undergo surgery following the conclusion of the season to fix the problem.

Entering his fourth major league season, Oswalt owns a career mark of 43-17 with a 2.92 ERA. He went 14-3 in just 20 starts during his rookie campaign in 2001, then won 19 games -- to just nine losses -- in 2002.

Clemens has over 300 career wins and Pettitte has won at least 12 games in each of his nine seasons. Last year, Pettitte won over 20 games for the second time in his career.
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