By Harry Allison
Last night’s Nationals-Phillies game might have seemed like a mismatch on the mound.
Sean O’Sullivan is a journeyman who signed a minor league contract with the Phillies in December. Max Scherzer is one of the best pitchers in baseball who signed a seven-year, $210 million contract in January.
But O’Sullivan held his own. He allowed five hits, two runs, one walk and struck out three in six innings. He has allowed two or fewer runs in six or more innings in consecutive starts for the first time since April 2011, when he pitched for the Royals.
“It’s definitely a confidence builder and something to build on,” he said. “It feels good to take the mound and have my team feel like we’ve got a chance to win that day.”
O’Sullivan allowed Bryce Harper’s 16th home run of the season, a solo shot in the second inning to tie the game. It was the third time Harper has homered against O’Sullivan this season.
“We were trying to go up, I went up,” O’Sullivan said. “Right now, the best way to pitch to him is with nobody on base. At least I [was getting] the first two guys out in front of him.”
O’Sullivan retired 11 of the next 13 batters he faced when Scherzer stepped into the batter’s box to start the bottom of the sixth inning.
It should have been an easy first out, but Scherzer instead hit a 1-2 fastball to right field for a single.