Oswalt's back a concern?

Charlie Manuel didn't remove Roy Oswalt from the game after 57 pitches because of concerns about his health. And after the Phillies' 7-5 loss to the D-Backs Tuesday night, the manager said Oswalt did not mention any discomfort to him.

But Oswalt's stuff was clearly flat. His velocity was down a couple MPH, his curveball was hanging, and the result was five runs allowed in three innings.

Oswalt left the stadium yesterday without speaking to reporters, so we'll have to wait until today to find out exactly how he is feeling.

Pitching coach Rich Dubee said last week that he did not think Oswalt was completely receovered from the back spasms that knocked him out of a start the previous weekend. But Dubee said this a couple days after Oswalt had allowed one hit in six scoreless innings against the Padres.

Last night Manuel said he was not aware of any lingering back problems with Oswalt.

So did catcher Brian Schneider.

"He gave no indication of it," Schneider said. "That's something he's going to ahve to answer. Prior to the game, talking to him, his bullpen, everything was great."

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