Brandon McCarthy failed to complete five innings a third time in his last four starts. McCarthy allowed nine runs on six hits to the Atlanta Braves, and suffered the loss as the Los Angeles Dodgers had their 11-game winning streak snapped.
McCarthy this season has dealt with a dislocated shoulder, knee tendinitis and suppressed what appeared to be a mild case of the yips. Now he can add a nagging blister to the list. “As the game progressed there was a blister that formed,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after his club’s loss.
“I wouldn’t say it’s been an issue, but it’s something I’ve been mindful of in a couple of his last starts. I heard from the trainer it got a little worse (after the fourth inning).”
Roberts didn’t rule out potentially placing McCarthy on the disabled list to allow for a callous to form. It’s a path the team was forced to take with Rich Hill, and he’s seemingly moved on from blisters.
Much like he did with the balky knee that eventually forced him to the DL earlier this year, McCarthy didn’t use the blister as an excuse for another in a string of subpar performances.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a big issue. The blister has been there since spring. It hasn’t ever gone away,” McCarthy said. “I wouldn’t say it affected me too much. I’ve been dealing with for a while.
While there have been flashes of a lost command that are reminiscent to his troubles that surfaced last season, McCarthy and Roberts have maintained the issues this year are mechanical. The 34-year-old believes progress was made on that front Thursday night.
“Weirdly enough, it felt like the best I’ve thrown in months. I did a lot of work this week mechanically trying to get things back and put things together,” McCarthy said. “Stuff-wise, I felt it was good.”
“Command the last few games, things had gotten really sloppy,” McCarthy said. “Mechanics have been really shoddy, and this week we really went to work trying to clean it up after Miami. We got it back to a place where, oddly enough, I feel happy with what happened other than the actual results.”
With Hyun-Jin Ryu expected to be activated from the disabled list to start against the Minnesota Twins on Monday, coupled with McCarthy’s struggles and blister, it would appear he’s bound for a third stint this season on the DL.