MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- When Roy Oswalt was taken out of the game in the seventh inning by Charlie Manuel, he took his seat in the dugout and slammed his hat on the wooden bench.
He wasn't happy. But he understood the situation.
"I battled through some innings early," Oswalt said. "I really didn't find my mechanics until later on in the game. I was throwing the ball a lot smoother. I'm going through a little bit of dead arm right now."
"It's just something I go through," he added later. "Usually I go through it around 100 innings. I think I'm around 130 right now. It comes and goes. Hopefully I can get a little more life on my fastball."
Oswalt downplayed the dead arm. In his first two Phillies starts, he hasn't used his sinker as much as he normally does.
Since his one-hit shutout of the Pirates on July 8, Oswalt has a 5.91 ERA in four starts (with both the Astros and Phillies). In that span, he has used his sinker 16.7 percent of the time. In his first 18 starts this season, he used his sinker in 26.6 percent of his pitches.
The velocity on his four-seam fastball and sinker doesn't differ much at all in his last four starts compared to the first 18. But he is using his breaking balls, the curveball and slider, more -- apparently to compensate for the dead arm.
Oswalt is confident his arm will come around -- "dead arm" is a phrase often tossed around by pitchers during this time of year. Roy Halladay even mentioned it a few weeks ago.
And if this was Oswalt with a dead arm, well, the Phillies have to be pleased. He allowed just three hits in 6 1/3 innings. He did walk four.
Oswalt is also still getting used to being on a new team.
"I'm getting to know the guys," Oswalt said. "I've been around five days. It's better than the first day. I didn't know what to expect."