For the first time in three starts this season, Brandon McCarthy turned in a scoreless effort in what was his best outing with the Los Angeles Dodgers to date. The right-hander recorded six strikeouts and didn’t allow a home run, which was a first in 2015.
Some McCarthy’s success on Sunday can be tied to increased velocity, which Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said wasn’t present last season, according to Nick Groke of The Denver Post:
He was a lot better,” Troy Tulowitzki said of McCarthy. “Take a look at his velocity when we faced him last year in Arizona. He was 90-91. Today, he was 95. He’s a completely different pitcher.”
Along with keeping the ball inside the park, McCarthy only issued two walks and allowed three hits Sunday. The Rockies didn’t have a runner advance further than first base until the sixth inning when Rafael Ynoa drew a walk and took third on Charlie Blackmon’s single in a hit-and-run.
At the time, the Rockies only trailed the Dodgers by two runs with Tulowitzki representing the go-ahead run at the plate. McCarthy won the battle as he got the shortstop to hit back to the box, which started a 1-6-3 inning-ending double play.
McCarthy’s performance helped propel the Dodgers to their seventh straight win and back-to-back three-game series sweeps. He now has 25 strikeouts to just three walks on the season, but has also given up six home runs — second-most in the Majors.
Albeit the season is still in its infancy, the Dodgers signing of the 31 year old thus far appears to have been a sound decision. McCarthy ranks second on the team with 18.0 innings pitched and the 25 strikeouts, and is second among starting pitchers with a 1.17 WHIP.
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