Oswalt ready, says no effect from relief appearance

Roy Oswalt said there would be no hangover from his brief relief appearance in Game 4 of the NLCS. (David M Warren/Staff Photographer)

Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt said throwing the ninth inning Wednesday night will have no impact on his ability to pitch in tomorrow's Game 6 of the National League Championship Series.

Oswalt threw 18 pitches in getting the loss in the Giants' 6-5 victory and said it was "probably the same thing" as throwing a bullpen session in between starts. Oswalt essentially threw two bullpens, his regularly scheduled session before the game and then warming up and entering the game in the ninth.

"I didn't want to get the loss for sure, but you never know when you're going to get back here," Oswalt said at Citizens Bank Park. "So that's one of the reasons I want to be in the game the other night. I don't know how much longer I'm going to play. But may not get to this spot again. So I'm going to try to do everything possible to get to that final game."

Asked if he was concerned, manager Charlie Manuel said, "I think he's got a rubber arm, he's kind of different in his style and he's got a loose arm. That's why he gets his rise on his fastball ... I don't think it's going to hurt him at all. I think when he tells you he's ready, I think he's ready. He's also one of those guys that if he's got -- if he's got some kind of problem or something, he's hurt or something like that, I think he'll be the first -- he'll tell you."

Oswalt is trying to get back to the World Series after reaching it in 2005 with the Houston Astros. Oswalt allowed five earned run in six innings in his only Series appearance against the White Sox.

"Once you get to the postseason and get to the World Series like we did in '05 and not get back, and five years later you realize how difficult it is to get back to the situation," he said. "So you try to treat it as it's maybe the last time. You never are guaranteed anything. Doesn't matter how good a team you have."

Oswalt was asked about the advantage of pitching at home, where he has been dominant since his arrival from the Astros.

"You've got your fans with you and everyone feels comfortable here," he said. "I think the excitement of the crowd and adrenalin gets you going a little bit at home more than it does on the road, and when you get into an environment on the road, one little thing they get going and it seems like they build off of it. Same thing here at home. If we get a hit, fans get into it, hitters start believing, they all feel like they can get a hit. And it just kind of escalates from there."

The followup question: Do you have a message for the fans or anything in terms of the ones that come to the game tomorrow?

Oswalt's reply: "They usually do a pretty good job on their own."