It’s no secret that Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy has struggled this season, but mystery does lie in why.
“I don’t know what the hell I’m doing wrong,” McCarthy said after allowing five runs and 10 hits in five innings of a 6-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.
“I truly don’t other than the results are poor. I don’t know what in my routine, what in my work, what I’m doing in games is wrong. It just doesn’t seem to be coming together.”
The 30-year-old is in the midst of what is by far the worst season of his career. His 5.38 ERA is a half-run worse than any other year of his career, and his 10 losses are already one shy of a career high.
McCarthy has allowed 15 home runs — already two shy of the most he’s allowed in a single season, though he is on pace for a career high in innings pitched.
“The frustrating thing is that I don’t have any more answers this week than I did last week or the week before,” McCarthy said. “I don’t know where this ranks but it’s pretty close to the bottom.”
The right-hander said this is the best he’s physically felt in his career, but noted that how he feels physically just adds to the frustration. McCarthy has typically been sidelined by a shoulder issue around the season’s midpoint, but he hasn’t had any health issues this season.
McCarthy’s average fastball velocity of 92.8 mph is up more two mph over any other season in his career, according to FanGraphs, and his 4.44 strikeout-to-walk ratio is the second-best of his career.
“I’m baffled because I don’t feel like I’m throwing poorly,” McCarthy said. “There’s nothing different what I’m doing now and when I was throwing well in Oakland. Every once in a while you miss pitches, and it happens. I’m in a run where I get punished for it, but there are so many things happening over the course of a game that I can’t explain.
“You want to beat your head against the wall, because what do I start to fix? You’re going out in five days and don’t really have a plan of attack as to what you’re going to improve upon.”