The Los Angeles Dodgers reached the final stretch of their 2017 Spring Training schedule with a roster seemingly set for the regular season. The starting rotation had been completed, with Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu earning the final spots, and Kiké Hernandez and Scott Van Slyke won the bench battles.
Last week marked a period of final outings from starting pitchers. Ryu, previously scheduled to piggyback McCarthy in the exhibition Freeway Series finale, instead threw a simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.
McCarthy went three innings, allowed three runs on four hits, including a two-run homer to Albert Pujols, and finished with four strikeouts.
Echoing the same sentiment Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda shared after their final tuneups, McCarthy was pleased with the start, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“I was happy with it,” said McCarthy. “I was able to execute across the board. I tried something new with Pujols, tried to do something more with the cutter, not something I’ll try again when games count.”
Next for the 33-year-old is a start Thursday afternoon in the four-game series finale against the San Diego Padres. McCarthy faced the Padres last season in his second start back from Tommy John surgery.
He allowed three runs on three hits and recorded six strikeouts in five innings of work. McCarthy’s 2016 ended on a down note as he battled a hip injury and the yips. In 14 games (13 starts) for the Dodgers over the past two seasons, he’s 5-3 with 5.29 ERA.