To follow up on my brilliantly insightful point this morning
about Brandon McCarthy:
McCarthy lowered his first-inning ERA today from 1.13 to
1.00, firing another scoreless frame to start a game, and whittled his
.250/.281/.250 opponents’ slash line down to .250/.278/.250.
Of course, he did some work on the 6.57 ERA he had outside
the first, including uncharted territory in the eighth and ninth, by carving
through the Astros lineup with a complete game shutout, his third as a pro. His first came on June 26, 2004, when he
blanked the Hickory Crawdads (then a Pirates affiliate) for Low A Kannapolis, improving
to 8-5, 3.64 and prompting an immediate promotion to High A Winston-Salem.
McCarthy’s one other complete game shutout came against AAA
Richmond Braves on August 13, 2005, in a 7-0 Charlotte Knights win. Two weeks later, he was summoned to the big
leagues for his second White Sox stint of the season, in order to make a start
in Arlington in
the back half of a doubleheader that many of us remember as Edinson Volquez’s
major league debut. McCarthy blanked Texas for 7.2 innings
that night, scattering two hits and a walk while fanning two Rangers, earning
his first big league win.
His latest big league win was obviously his most impressive since
coming to the Rangers after the 2006 season.
He didn’t necessarily overmatch the Astros, who collected nine hits –
but just one that went for extra bases (a Miguel Tejada double), but he was in
attack mode from start to finish, throwing 83 strikes among 124 pitches,
commanding the fastball, and throwing a significant number of 12-to-6 curves
that dipped into the strike zone when he wanted it to and into the dirt when he
It was an exciting effort – the kind that I suspect convinced
whatever Rangers scouts recommended the trade with Chicago to bang their fists on the table at
the time – and one that McCarthy will get an extra day of rest to recover from
since the club has an off-day this Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Yankees needed 11 innings to lose today,
putting a tad more torque on their bullpen heading into the next three days in Arlington.
For what it’s worth, John Danks is 3-3, 4.60 this
season. McCarthy is 4-2, 4.67. Means nothing, really, but it’s interesting.
There will be a standing-room only crowd packing Rangers Ballpark
tomorrow afternoon, and among the portion of the 50,000 who will be on their
feet will be McCarthy, leaning against the dugout rail with, I imagine, as good
a feeling as he’s probably had as a professional ballplayer . . . matching as
good a feeling as I’ve had as a Rangers fan in a long, long time.