Brandon McCarthy’s tenure with the Diamondbacks was less than spectacular. In two years with the club, McCarthy went 8-21 and with a 4.75 ERA. In his short stint with the New York Yankees, McCarthy looks like a pitcher reborn. He has gone at least six innings and only given up one run in each of his two starts.
On Saturday, McCarthy stifled the Cincinnati Reds, throwing six innings, striking out nine, and only giving up one run. This Reds team knocked around McCarthy earlier this year in Arizona to the tune of nine hits and five earned runs over four innings.
The reason for his turnaround? McCarthy says it’s the Yankees’ enthusiasm to bring his cutter back into the picture, something he says the Diamondbacks brass tried to phase out of his pitching arsenal.
“(The Diamondbacks) kind of wanted to move it outwards. They wanted it to be more sinker heavy,” McCarthy told New York media. “It was something I didn’t totally agree with, but now coming here and (the Yankees) going back over everything I’ve done and realizing that was a big part of my success. They decided to add that back in”.
Brandon McCarthy said a big key was his cutter, a pitch that the D-backs discouraged him from throwing. Yankees wanted to bring it back.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 19, 2014
Now, McCarthy’s New York success shouldn’t be solely attributed to reintegrating the cutter. McCarthy did seem to get on the right track his last two starts in Arizona, but the cutter has added some variety to his pitch selection and made hitters off-balanced.
Have Yanks struck gold by re-inventing McCarthy, pushing him to throw cutter, a pitch D-Backs took away? http://t.co/A4kW1san2k
— John Harper (@NYDNHarper) July 20, 2014
“It’s hard to keep major league hitters off one pitch,” McCarthy said. “The cutter at least neutralizes that inner half of the plate. I can do things with it away with it to righties… it helps set up everything else and gives me some room to work”.
If the Yankees have found the key to success for McCarthy, it is welcome news for their fans as they have lost star C.C. Sabathia for the year.