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04/29/07 7:11 PM ET
McCarthy struggles as Rangers fall
Starter surrenders five runs on six hits over three innings
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
TORONTO -- A rainout, extra work on the side and two scoreless innings in a relief appearance didn't do much to change Brandon McCarthy's fortunes as a starter. He still had trouble on Sunday afternoon in Toronto, because he was rushing his pitches, he had difficulty locating his pitches and he didn't come close to giving the Rangers what they need from a starting pitcher. Instead, he managed to last just three innings, giving up five runs in a 7-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. "It was the same stuff all over again," McCarthy said after the Rangers had a two-game winning streak come to an end. Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer in the ninth to tie a club record with nine home runs in April. Carl Everett (2003), Alex Rodriguez (2002) and Ivan Rodriguez (2000) all managed that feat. Frank Catalanotto, who also left in the middle of the game because of a strained left shoulder, could miss at least one game as a precautionary measure. But McCarthy still had the most painful outing of any Ranger. McCarthy faced 20 batters, allowing 11 to reach base on six hits, four walks and a hit batter. Over his past three starts, he has allowed 17 runs in six innings on 16 hits and seven walks. The young hurler is now 1-4 with a 9.90 ERA on the season. "There are long relievers that pitch more innings than that," McCarthy said. "There are closers with more innings in three games than I do." But manager Ron Washington said he is still staying with McCarthy in the Rangers rotation. "I feel for the kid," Washington said. "He's out there busting his tail, trying to get the job done. We're going to wait on him. He's one of ours, and he's going to get his turn again. He's going to get the ball." The Rangers may still have to make a roster move to reinforce their bullpen. Willie Eyre was needed for three innings on Sunday, and Scott Feldman pitched two innings. That may leave the Rangers short. \Washington and general manager Jon Daniels were discussing the possibility of bringing up Wes Littleton from Triple-A Oklahoma, but had not made a decision. McCarthy threw 86 pitches, including 40 in the lengthy first inning in which he was all over the place with his location. "The first inning, it was the same thing; I was rushing out there," McCarthy said. "I took a lot of things we were working on this week, and I threw them all out the window. It's disappointing. This was a big game for me and for us, and it bothers me that I went back to the same stuff and fell apart." He started his day by walking both Aaron Lind and Vernon Wells. He struck out Frank Thomas, but Lyle Overbay walked to load the bases. McCarthy then hit Troy Glaus with a pitch to force in a run. "I rushed the pitch, pulled off it and it flies in there," McCarthy said. "I rushed it and lost all control. If I stay back with solid mechanics, the pitch doesn't hit him and the ball stays inside. "Three walks and a hit batter. No matter what the circumstances, no matter how bad my mechanics are, I still have to be better than that." McCarthy came back to strike out Matt Stairs and got ahead in the count, 1-2, to Aaron Hill. That left McCarthy one pitch away from getting out of the inning, but he couldn't do it. He missed twice off the plate to take the count full. Hill then fouled off two pitches before lining a single into left field to bring home two runs. "That sums it up right there," McCarthy said. "Instead of putting him away, I'm over-eager, trying to get out of the inning, and I miss two pitches off the black. I needed to step off the mound, slow myself down and make a great pitch instead of being over-eager and throwing the ball over the middle of the plate." McCarthy came back and pitched a scoreless second, but a couple of two-out singles in the third plated two more Jays runs, and he left after three, trailing 5-1. "A couple of times, he threw some pretty good pitches, and then sometimes he didn't," Washington said. "It's all about locating the fastball, putting the changeup where he needs it and making sure he's got depth on his breaking ball." Washington repeated his stance once more. "We still have confidence in him," Washington said. "He's still going to get the ball."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.