By Jon Weisman
Like Vin Scully says, come to the ballpark and you’ll probably see something you’ve never seen before. Like Brandon McCarthy becoming the first pitcher in Major League history to allow at least four home runs in a game, strike out at least 10 and walk none.
There’s no denying that it was disconcerting to see Nelson Cruz homer twice and Corey Seager’s brother once for a 4-0 Seattle lead before the Dodgers got their first hit of the game. And right after the Dodgers cut the Mariners’ lead to 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth (on an Alex Guerrero sacrifice fly and Joc Pederson’s first career hit against a southpaw, a two-run single), Dustin Ackley went deep off McCarthy in the top of the fifth.
All along, McCarthy was whiffing hitters — at least one in every inning. And the steadfastness of McCarthy was such that after giving up that fourth homer, he retired the final seven batters he faced, giving the Dodgers seven innings the night before they have what is essentially a bullpen game with David Huff starting.
Yasiel Puig (solo home run), Adrian Gonzalez (double) and Howie Kendrick (single) tied the game in the bottom of the fifth at 5-5, getting McCarthy off the hook for the loss. The score remained that way through the ninth, sending the Dodgers to their second extra-inning game of the season.
McCarthy, who struck out nine while allowing two homers in his five-inning Dodger debut last week, now has the oddity of having allowed six homers and one walk in 12 innings while striking out an MLB-leading 19. McCarthy leads the Majors in homers allowed, strikeouts and strikeout-walk ratio.
The low walk totals aren’t an anomaly. McCarthy has walked no more than three batters in his last 115 starts since April 14, 2009, according to the Dodger press notes — the longest active streak in the Majors.