After starting Erik Bedard in their first Cactus League game this year, the Los Angeles Dodgers have slowly advanced to getting their expected regular-season starters on the mound when Clayton Kershaw took the ball Thursday and Brandon McCarthy was on the bump Sunday.
McCarthy threw two innings, allowed two hits and one earned run before finishing his day in the bullpen. As for his Dodgers debut, the 31 year old viewed it as a step in the right direction. “I got a better idea of what I need to work on and where I’m at with some things,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy struck out to open the game, then gave up consecutive hits. He retired the last five batters he faced and took more from the second inning than a nervous-laden first. “The second inning, I got back into it and felt like I settled down and came away with some positives.”
As for throwing an estimated 20 pitches in the bullpen, McCarthy wanted to refine his curveball. “A lot of it was just mechanics on the curveball and staying through it.” Coming off a season in which he struggled with the Arizona Diamondbacks before finding success in New York, McCarthy believes he’s now found the correct throwing program.
During his nine-year career, he’s managed to make a minimum of 30 starts just once — in 2014. McCarthy hopes it was the beginning of proving he’s moved on from his injury past, but also understands this season as well as the years beyond are keying in validating that sentiment.
From the Dodgers perspective, who signed McCarthy to a four-year deal, should he managed to remain healthy and carry over his success with the Yankees, they’ll once more have a viable fourth starter to back Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
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