Dodgers News: Brandon McCarthy Honored To Have Started Vin Scully’s Final Home Game
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a rough season for Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who didn’t make his 2016 debut until July after recovering from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander then had another interruption in his season, because of a hip injury.

McCarthy pitched well in his first four starts, going 2-2 with a 1.61 ERA. But he then struggled through the next four, walking 17 batters in 12.1 innings and posting a 7.60 ERA before landing back on the disabled list in the middle of August.

After sorting through hip and mechanical issues, the 33-year-old returned Sunday. He turned in 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits, collecting six strikeouts and walking just one.

McCarthy’s command and outing was reminiscent of what was seen throughout July. Although he didn’t factor into the decision, McCarthy was moved to have been part of the club’s National League West clincher and Vin Scully’s final home game.

“I think back 20-30 years ago, being a little kid and listening to Vin’s voice growing up in southern California, Vin was baseball to me,” McCarthy said. “The idea of throwing his last game in Dodger Stadium, I can’t comprehend now. I will later in my career. To have been a part of that is an unbelievable honor.”

A strong showing in his return also brought a sense of satisfaction for McCarthy, considering he spent the majority of the season on the outside looking in. “Early on when you’re rehabbing, you feel like you’re very much on the outside,” he said.

“Then you kind of get back in for a number of starts and you feel like you’re part of it. This last month, I couldn’t have felt more removed. A couple of weeks ago I was just praying someone from the front office wouldn’t call and say, ‘Shut this down, we’ll see you next year. Let’s get things figured out.’ You can’t feel further away from the team at that point.”

What’s next for McCarthy is unknown. The Dodgers don’t appear to have made a decision on a fourth starter in their postseason rotation, and McCarthy may factor into that. He was joined by Brett Anderson and Scott Kazmir on the comeback trail during the series against the Colorado Rockies.

Anderson allowed four runs in five innings, while Kazmir only managed to pitch one inning prior to being removed with right intercostal spasms. Despite that, Kazmir remains optimistic he can still contribute as the regular season draws to a close.