With the New York Yankees, McCarthy is not shying away from
The latest one occurred Monday night. The highlight of McCarthy's
tough, 5 2/3-inning outing was when he escaped a bases-loaded jam in
the top of the second inning, helping New York open a four-game
series with a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
"It's something that I've never been good at in my career, the
not-backing-down thing, and today was a better example of that where
it's not just throw a sinker here and try to get contact," McCarthy
said. "You're legitimately trying to make a pitch with every pitch,
which I'm assuming is closer to pennant-race baseball (and)
"You have to keep grinding, and that was something that I felt I did
not do a good job of, at least in Arizona these last few years where
it was just sinker and let's see if we can get them to put the ball
in play. That's where I wasn't successful, and here it's kind of
been of shift in mindset."
McCarthy improved to 5-0 over his past six starts by allowing an
unearned run and five hits. He struck out eight and walked two.
McCarthy is 4-0 since the Yankees acquired him from the Diamondbacks
on July 6. The hot stretch comes after he won just one of his first
17 outings with Arizona this year.
"Every start has been a good start," New York manager Joe Girardi
said. "He's been huge for our rotation, and he's done a pretty good
job of giving us distance most of the time, and he's meant a lot.
He's come over here and pitched about as well as you could."
The right-hander threw 116 pitches Monday, the fifth-highest total
of his career and his high since May 19, 2008, when he pitched for
the Texas Rangers. The Tigers fouled off 37 pitches and made
McCarthy throw 34 pitches in the second when they loaded the bases
on a double by designated hitter Victor Martinez, a single by left
fielder J.D. Martinez on the 10th pitch and a walk by third baseman
McCarthy faced tough at-bats against catcher Alex Avila and
shortstop Eugenio Suarez but ended the threat by getting strikeouts
on his fastball and curveball.
"I didn't feel like anything was going wrong," McCarthy said. "I was
just kind of grinding through pitches and not giving in. I didn't
feel like I was getting tired. It's something I've worked on here,
not backing down in a situations like that and throwing a hittable
pitch and doing something (wrong)."
McCarthy helped the Yankees win for the 11th time in 17 games since
the All-Star break. Their past 15 games were by decided by two runs
or fewer. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it the team's
longest stretch since a 12-game run in September 1904.
The right-hander's night ended with a standing ovation after he
allowed a single to Kelly, putting two on.
After Matt Thornton recorded the final out of the sixth, Adam
Warren, Shawn Kelley and David Robertson combined on three scoreless
innings. Warren stranded the tying run in the seventh by retiring
first baseman Miguel Cabrera, and Robertson fanned two for his 30th
save in 32 opportunities.
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The Yankees needed another effective outing from McCarthy because they did
little against Max Scherzer (13-4) despite having multiple
opportunities. They scored both runs in the third. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a
sacrifice fly that required a diving, face-first catch into the warning
track by center fielder Ezequiel Carrera, and catcher Brian McCann added
an RBI single.
"I thought it was good contact off the bat," Carrera said through an
interpreter. "Off the bat, I stayed aggressive to make the play."
Scherzer lost for the first time in eight starts since June 17, allowing
two runs and nine hits in seven innings. He was aided by his defense all
night, including in the fourth, when right fielder Torii Hunter started
a 9-3-6 play to get left fielder Brett Gardner trying to stretch a
single into a double.
"My stuff was not sharp tonight, was never really able to work through
it until the end, left a couple of pitches up and they were able to
capitalize," Scherzer said.
Designated hitter Victor Martinez had two hits for Detroit, which scored
its only run on second baseman Ian Kinsler's RBI single in the fifth.
The Tigers began a stretch of 24 of 32 games on the road by falling 8-10
since the break. They were held to one run or none for the fourth
consecutive road game.
Detroit also lost Suarez to sprained left knee when he was injured
sliding into second on a stolen base.
NOTES: Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira was a last-minute scratch due to
lightheadedness. ... New York RHP Masahiro Tanaka made 25 throws from 60
feet Monday and said he feels good after testing his right elbow for the
first time since having platelet-rich plasma injected in his right elbow
three weeks ago. ... The Yankees placed RHP David Phelps on the 15-day
disabled list with an inflamed right elbow and replaced him on the
roster by recalling RHP Matt Daley. ... Monday marked the return to
Yankee Stadium of Tigers RHP Joba Chamberlain, who discussed his seven
years with the Yankees during a 10-minute pregame press conference. ...
Detroit CF Ezequiel Carrera made his first start for the Tigers and went
1-for-4. Carrera came into Saturday's game as a defensive replacement
after having his contract purchased from Triple-A Toledo.
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