Sunday, April 12, 2015

Phillies eye sweep as Nats turn to Scherzer

The Nationals and Phillies wrap up a three-game series on Sunday afternoon, with Washington looking to avoid a sweep in Philadelphia behind right-hander Max Scherzer. 
In his first start, Scherzer pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowed three unearned runs on four hits and struck out eight against the Mets. He retired 17 straight hitters at one point and had a no-hitter going with two outs in the sixth inning.
A four-pitch walk to Curtis Granderson and an error on a David Wright popup later, Scherzer allowed a two-run single to Lucas Duda to give the Mets a one-run lead. An inning later, Scherzer allowed an RBI triple to Travis d'Arnaud. The three runs were unearned because of two errors by shortstop Ian Desmond.
Phillies right-hander Sean O'Sullivan will make his season debut. He made three appearances (two starts) for the Phillies last season, and spent most of the year with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, going 6-10 with a 4.31 ERA.
Three things to know about this game
1. Of all the players on the Phillies' roster, Ben Revere has had the most success against Scherzer, going 5-for-15 (.333). Jeff Francoeur has faced Scherzer the most times, going 7-for-30 (.233) with 10 strikeouts.
2. The Phillies reassigned O'Sullivan to Minor League camp in Spring Training, but he remained their best option for a No. 5 starter with Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez underperforming in Spring Training -- and now injured -- and Kevin Slowey released at the end of last month.
3. It will be interesting to see if third baseman Cody Asche returns to the Phillies' lineup. Manager Ryne Sandberg has started Andres Blanco the past two games, but Asche is a player they want to develop for the future.

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