San Francisco Giants Solve Brandon McCarthy Riddle
By Jeff Young
Prior to today’s game, Brandon McCarthy was having a nice start to the season. He had a 3.09 ERA with a 4.36 FIP. The ERA was good, but the FIP demons were anxiously awaiting to show baseball the real Brandon McCarthy. Against a streaking San Francisco Giants lineup, the real Brandon McCarthy made an appearance.
Prior to today’s game, San Francisco Giants hitters were hitting .324 against with a .864 OPS against McCarthy. The track record and FIP demons were painting this game as being an offensive explosion by the Giants. That is exactly what happened.
Brandon McCarthy started the game for the Braves. However, he hardly looked like a pitcher who was going to silence an offense. He did manage to silence the Giants for an entire inning.
Following this inning, the Giants hit parade began. It started, and it really never stopped against McCarthy. Alen Hanson, who is emerging as an early season hero, began the offensive onslaught with a 2-RBI double against McCarthy. Unlike yesterday, the Giants settled for only 2 runs in the 2nd inning today.
This was merely the beginning of the end for McCarthy. By the 3rd inning, another rally was coming to the surface. Andrew McCutchen hit a ground ball to where 2nd base should be, but that was not the case today. The Braves put a shift on McCutchen, and McCutchen twice beat the shift with a weak ground ball to 2nd, or where the 2nd basemen was not playing. Serves the Braves right for putting a shift on McCutchen.
After McCutchen beat the shift, Posey hit him over to third base. Then came Belt. Belt was exciting and frustrating at the same time. Belt drove in McCutchen for an RBI. However, he felt generous enough to run himself into an out on the base paths. He was exciting by driving in a run, but frustrating in recording an out in the same sequence.
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With Belt’s hit and inevitable base running goof, Posey advanced to third. At this point, Evan Longoria came to the plate. The defense prepared for him to hit a deep fly ball. Perhaps, one that would travel to the warning track. He fooled everyone. Instead, He hit a bloop double to score Posey. Yes, you read that correctly. A bloop double.
At this point, the Giants had scored 6 runs. That was enough damage to McCarthy’s ERA, confidence, and game. The Giants ended up winning by a 9-run margin. But, they continued to hit McCarthy hard. McCarthy thought he could hide away from the Giants in the NL East, but he was wrong. As a result, the Giants won the game, and won the series.