Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy made his much-anticipated debut against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday night, but his return to the mound was a special sight to see for more than one reason.
McCarthy, who signed a two-year deal with the D-backs in December 2012, last pitched in a meaningful game on September 5, 2012 for the Oakland Athletics. During the fourth inning of that contest, McCarthy was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Angels’ shortstop Erick Aybar.
Although he never lost consciousness, McCarthy fractured his skull and suffered a brain contusion on the play. He was forced to miss Oakland’s magical run to the postseason.
Wednesday night’s start, the 100th of his career, didn’t necessarily go to plan, as he gave up nine hits and six runs in five innings of work.
“It’s still one of the weirdest starts I can remember in a long time,” McCarthy said. “I felt really good and I threw a lot of strikes, but I just couldn’t throw good strikes.
“It was weird, everything just kept missing by two inches. It was an inch up, when it should have been an inch down.”
While McCarthy had a bit of an up-and-down debut, his teammates ultimately bailed him out in extra innings.
The D-backs managed to pull out a 10-9 victory over the Redbirds in 16 innings. It was the longest game (5:32) in the 16-year history of Chase Field and clinched the first series win of the season for Arizona.