Brandon McCarthy was 1-0 going into his start on Tuesday night against Baltimore. That was the good news, the promising news. Not so promising was the manner in which he won his first start.
McCarthy went 5 innings, allowing three runs in his 2009 debut against Cleveland, but struggled with command, particularly of his fastball; he was forced to rely heavily on his slider, allowing nine base runners and two home runs.
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Between starts, McCarthy attempted to address the issue with some light mechanical adjustments. "I was trying to get some things worked out mechanically," McCarthy said. "I'm not really worried about it."
After Tuesday’s performance, I’m not all that worried either--At least, not about McCarthy. (Okay, this may be jumping the gun, a bit.)
But Texas’ starter looked decidedly stronger than he did in his first start, and possibly ever, in his Rangers career, when he took the bump on Tuesday night.
McCarthy’s line wasn’t particularly impressive, as he went six innings, giving up three runs and five hits.
However, McCarthy showed flashes of brilliance early that have rarely been seen since he came over from Chicago in exchange for John Danks. He spent most of 2008 on the shelf due to injury.
His fastball clocked in between 91 and 93 MPH, which, for McCarthy, is some fairly serious gas. It looks as though the off-season weight gain may be agreeing with him.
He did surrender two home runs, and three walks while striking out five.
The bottom line is Brandon McCarthy gave Texas a chance to win on Tuesday, and that, in so many words, is the job description of a starting pitcher.
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