THE NEWBERG REPORT — MAY 26, 2007

Three things.

First, what happened to that new and improved Joaquin Benoit tempo? Looked like he was taking a cue from the man he took over for on the mound, dragging the pace down to the point at which you almost couldn’t call it a “pace” at all. Frustrating to watch.

Number two.

In 2002, his first minor league season, Brandon McCarthy pitched 14 times, all starts. He never walked four batters in a game.

In 2003, McCarthy made 15 starts and a six-inning relief appearance. He never walked four.

In 2004, in 27 starts, McCarthy never walked four in a game.

In 2005, McCarthy started 19 times on the farm and relieved once. Two times he walked four batters, and it was in consecutive starts. The first was a three-hit effort over eight shutout innings. The next was a two-hit effort over seven innings in which he allowed one run.

McCarthy made 10 big league starts and two relief appearances that season. He walked four one time. It was in a 4.2-inning start against the Royals, his third time on a big league mound.

McCarthy never walked four batters in 2006, though to be fair, he made only two starts. He pitched 51 times in relief for the White Sox. For what it’s worth, five of his outings did last at least four innings.

In 2007, McCarthy has walked four batters three times in 11 games pitched, including last night, when he did it in the space of five Red Sox hitters in the second inning. He was, however, pitching at some point with a blister on the middle finger of his right hand, which I suppose makes this whole discussion sort of moot.

Number three.

Kasey Kiker is now the proud owner of a professional win. Denied that opportunity on many occasions last year because of strict pitch counts that saw him go the requisite five innings only three times, the 19-year-old pitched only five frames this evening but was masterful, blanking Burlington on four hits and three walks while punching out eight, as Clinton held on for a 3-2 victory.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

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