This baseball season has been a tough one on Arizona Diamondbacks’ right-hander Brandon McCarthy.
After recovering from brain surgery last September, McCarthy has found difficulty blending in with his new team — he’s struggled on the mound, missed two months with a shoulder injury and suffered a seizure while dining at a Valley restaurant with his wife in June.
But Monday night, everything came together for McCarthy as he threw seven strong innings, allowing just one unearned run on five hits in a 6-1 win over the San Diego Padres at Chase Field. It was McCarthy’s third win of the season, and first since May 24.
“It’s nice, at least I can leave the game feeling like I carried my weight and kind of did what I was supposed to do,” McCarthy. “The starters, we’ve kind of been wearing out the bullpen a little bit, so it’s on us to get as deep as we can.
“I was at least happy I was able to do that tonight, so it’s nice to leave the game with a positive feeling.”
That wasn’t the case in McCarthy’s last outing August 21 at Cincinnati when he was chased after giving up seven runs on eight hits in just 2.1 innings of work — his shortest outing of the season. McCarthy used that outing as fuel to improve.
“That Reds start was so bad, you have to internalize quickly and figure out what was going on,” McCarthy said. “I mean it’s just keeping my body aligned and keeping my front side closed and keeping my glove close to my body, and any time I do that, the ball kind of comes out effortlessly.
“I throw actually harder, the ball moves later and I can get away with more mistakes because the movement’s there as opposed to what we’ve seen the last few weeks where if a pitch isn’t perfect, it’s going to get hit because the movement’s not late and it’s not sharp.”
The outing was McCarthy’s first of seven or more innings without allowing an earned run since last June 19, when he combined with two relievers on a 3-0 shutout of the Dodgers while pitching for the Oakland Athletics.
“I think he pitched great, all the stuff that he worked on, he was able to execute,” manager Kirk Gibson said.
“He really got it rolling there, seven big inning for us.”
McCarthy will try to keep the positive momentum going in his next start Sunday at Chase Field against the San Francisco Giants.