10/09/05 12:11 AM ET
Roy Oswalt postgame interview
Astros' winning pitcher breaks down his performance
By / MLB.com
ROY OSWALT: I lost a little bit of command of the fastball, then I started to fire one off a little quicker than in the first inning. Ball came back over the plate a few times on me.
But the thing is they didn't really hit anything hard, the catcher flared one into left for a run and got behind the pitcher and wasn't about to walk him. So had to throw one down the middle and he was able to put the bat on it. You know, hit a ground ball through the infield that could have went to anybody.
After that, calmed down a lot. Started trying to mix the fastball, curveball up a lot tonight. Had a pretty good slider most of the night, too.
What happened when you fell down?
OSWALT: The second time I've done that in front of about 40,000 people. I'm so much of a drive guy, power guy, going toward the plate, that if I don't have a real good toe hold I'd guess you say, my back foot slips off the back of the rubber. Once my foot got away, I started to throw the pitch anyway. My mindset changed real quick, don't lob it up there and let the guy hit it out. Went out and took that one on the chin.
After that, were you kind of laughing?
OSWALT: Yeah. I mean, I was thinking, "Only me could fall down on the mound in playoffs." But doesn't really matter, I guess.
OSWALT: Yeah, the last month or two it hasn't been working as well as I wanted it to. I've been trying to get too much over the top of it. Tonight I had a real good feel for it, throw it short when I wanted to and change speeds. High 70s and low 60s. So it's like two pitches in one and I was able to change speeds on it. Biggest thing with my curveball, if I can keep it from popping up out of my hand when they can read it early, I usually get guys to swing over it because of the speed difference in the fastball and curveball.
After you had that tough second inning, (Mike) Lamb hit that home run, how much did that help get your momentum back?
OSWALT: That was big, for sure. Lamb, you know, he's been big for us all year coming off the bench, playing here and there. Been doing a real good job. But to get us a one run lead gets you right back into the game for us, you don't have to be so fine as to throwing a ball, you know, around the plate. You can still be aggressive and make them hit the ball early.
Was the crowd a factor at all? I mean, you had -- it was a record attendance. They were very loud and vocal.
OSWALT: For sure. It's always great playing at home in the playoffs. Fans have been great, you know, for us. They're behind us, everything we do. Tonight, you could sure hear them. They was going real good early in the game. We got something going early. You can ask anybody, playing on the road, when you have a crowd like that, it goes against you, especially you get behind in a game. It puts a lot of pressure on an opposing team.
Before you kind of slipped up, you had that strange second inning. Talk about getting through that. That was a strange second inning with the double play, couple other things going on.
OSWALT: Yeah, that's the thing, I wanted to get a double play with (Jeff) Francoeur. I watched him in Atlanta, the way he swung at the ball. I knew that I could get inside on him, the way he tried to attack the ball. I was able to get him to roll over. Thought I was going to get out the inning right there, especially with a catcher. I had two strikes on him, was trying to elevate a fastball. He looks like he's real aggressive on the fastball. I was going to try to elevate a fastball, I threw it up and in and jammed him. He was able to flare it to left. After that, the pitcher up, you know, that should have been an out then and 2-1, for sure. But got behind him, 2-1, had to throw some balls over the middle of the plate.
Just clarify what happened on that 3-1. Was it a balk, was it a ball four? What happened from your eyes and what did he tell you?
OSWALT: We were going sinker down and in, just in case he was swinging 3-1 there, we were going to try to get a jam shot in the infield. The ball actually cut, ran right back over the middle of the plate. I was hoping he was gonna swing. He let it go. I thought it was gonna be out the inning right there.
But I don't know if the guy thought since Brad (Ausmus) caught it back over the middle of the plate, once I missed my spot, you know, he caught it maybe I guess he caught it low, I don't know.
OSWALT: Yeah, I don't know what happened there.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.