Brandon McCarthy certainly came to the desert this spring expecting better results with his new club. What he got instead were two of his worst outings in the last year and a half.
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy (32) throws during the third inning at Chase Field. Image: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
McCarthy surrendered a first inning run on Tuesday night and again fell victim to a big inning that ended any chance of a strong outing. In his first start while facing the St Louis Cardinals, it was the third inning that saw the 29 year old allow four earned runs on five base hits and a hits batsmen.
Last night, while hurling against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he was tagged for five runs (three earned) in the fourth inning, turning a solid 4-1 lead into a 6-4 deficit that the Dbacks were unable to overcome.
That means that nine of his twelve runs allowed have come in just two innings.
Even though the right hander told reporters after the game he thought he actually had some of the best stuff of his professional career, the frustration in his comments were directed towards catcher Miguel Montero without actually calling him out.
In regards to his struggles he would say, “too many pitches that with two strikes we weren’t changing things up enough. I’ve got to be smart out there and shake and mix things up more. I just think we got into a routine there and we weren’t able to change gears fast enough.”
This is probably a fair analysis by McCarthy as the two haven’t had much time to get in sync, still searching for the perfect mix of pitches to produce a quality start.
Montero would chime in as well on the issue when asked about the three 0-2 fastballs (he called for) that would all result in RBI base hits, “I was the one putting the fingers down and he pretty much went with me, he trusted me, and unfortunately I guess I didn’t have the right fingers today.”
Still, for a pitcher who was experiencing one of his best seasons in his eight year career in 2012, these first two starts are something to keep an eye on if nothing else. After all, he wasn’t just missing on one or two pitches in these starts falling victim to a three run home run but it was a string of base hits that have done him in.
In his 11 2/3 innings in 2013 he has given up 6 doubles, 19 hits, and 10 earned runs. His BABIP is an astounding .404. To be frank, McCarthy has been getting shelled.
If the Colorado native believes that last night was one of his best outings as far as effectiveness of his pitches than we should expect good things to come. If Montero and McCarthy can figure out their differences in pitch choices and the catcher who is typically on point with his signs can work to his strengths, we may see a quick turnaround in the successes of McCarthy with the D’backs.
Really, that turnaround can’t come soon enough.
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