Dodgers News: Brandon McCarthy Affected By Fatigue Against Rays
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon McCarthy’s return from Tommy John surgery came at an opportune time as the Los Angeles Dodgers were still coping with the reality of Clayton Kershaw being forced to the 15-day disabled list.

McCarthy was scheduled for a final rehab start but approached the Dodgers with the proposition of instead making that outing in the Majors. The club obliged, and the right-hander has brought some stability to the rotation.

The Dodgers to this point have been cautious in their handling of McCarthy and his surgically-repaired throwing elbow, and at times perhaps overly so.

McCarthy has completed six innings in two of his five starts, and pitched into the seventh just once.

Neither of those instances came Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium against the Tampa Bay Rays. McCarthy came out after just four innings, marking his shortest start of the season.

According to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times, the 33-year-old said fatigued that lingered from his previous start was an issue:

“It was a weird, tough week, and I think the fatigue kind of accumulated,” he said. “I wasn’t able to execute like I wanted to. It was body fatigue. I think St. Louis took a lot out of us. It was a little tougher to recover.”

Pitching in high humidity and temperature near the triple digits in St. Louis, McCarthy was in the midst of his best start of the year when a calf cramp forced him to be removed with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning.

He finished the night with four strikeouts and held the Cardinals to two runs (one earned) on one hit. The outing came on the heels of McCarthy completing six innings of work, as he held the Arizona Diamondbacks scoreless in a no-decision.

On the season McCarthy is 2-1 with a 2.39 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in five starts. He’s struck out 33 batters over 26.1 innings pitched, and owns a 33.3 percent strikeout rate, which would set a career high.