Philly Sports Live

Comeback Kids

With the sudden trade of Roberto Hernandez earlier today, the Phillies had to find a starting pitcher on short notice with the right amount of rest. Enter Sean O’Sullivan, called up late this afternoon from Triple-A Lehigh Valley and pressed into action tonight in the rubber match of a three game series with the Houston Astros.

O’Sullivan was up earlier this season to start the back-end of a double header, and was quickly sent back down. He was 5-9 at Triple-A this season with an earned run average of 4.57.

He got the call tonight, and was roughed up early by the Astros.

After getting one out in the first, O’Sullivan walked catcher Jason Castro and then allowed a two run home run to left-fielder Chris Carter.

The next batter was right-fielder Marc Krauss, and he would take O’Sullivan deep as well for a solo homer. The Astros hit back to back home runs, and lead 3-0 after the first inning.

Castro would lead off the third inning with a single, and Carter would homer again off O’Sullivan to make it a 5-1 Houston lead.

The Phillies scored a run in the second, but managed very little else against Houston starter Collin McHugh. In seven innings, McHugh allowed one run on five hits and struck out seven.

But, the Astros’ bullpen took over in the eighth inning and the Phillies would cash in.

After Carlos Ruiz led off with a double, Cody Asche singled him home to make it 5-2. They would then load the bases for Chase Utley. Chase would fly out to shallow left field.

With two men out, Ryan Howard launched a 3-2 pitch over the fence in deep left center-field for a grand slam home run. Just like that, the Phillies led 6-5.

It was a sweet, cathartic moment for the much maligned first baseman given the up and down season that he’s had. This team hasn’t had those kind of heart stopping moments the fans grew accustomed to the last six years.

Howard finished this series with eight runs batted in, with four big ones coming tonight.

Jonathan Papelbon came on to shut the door in the ninth inning, finishing off the three game sweep of the Astros.

The Phillies seek their fourth straight win tomorrow night against the division rival Mets.

They’ll have a good luck charm in the house, as former ace Roy Halladay will be honored before the game.

The current #34, A.J. Burnett, will appropriately make the start for the Phils. First pitch 7:05.

Stats Courtesy of Phillies.com

Photo Courtesy of Newsday.com