By Jon Weisman
When this year’s Dodger transactions are tallied, let’s not forget Brandon McCarthy being acquired in exchange for 14 months of suffering.
In his third start since completing his recovery from Tommy John surgery, McCarthy again asserted himself against the void of opposing bats, throwing six shutout innings for the Dodgers at Arizona tonight.
McCarthy sliced up the Diamondbacks on only 77 pitches — fewer than 13 per inning — allowing three hits and no walks while striking out eight. He wasn’t fazed at all by a delay of more than 10 minutes after he had thrown only two pitches, when home-plate umpire Dale Scott took a foul ball to the face mask and ultimately had to leave the game.
So far in this comeback season, McCarthy has thrown 16 innings with an ERA of 1.69, walking four, striking out 22 and looking every bit like a key second-half figure for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers put 12 runners on base — including Howie Kendrick’s third consecutive three-hit game — before McCarthy was relieved at the seventh-inning stretch by Adam Liberatore, but only one of them scored. In the third inning, Chase Utley doubled and scored one out later on Justin Turner’s opposite-field single.
Liberatore pitched a perfect seventh, and Joe Blanton survived a walk and a single in the eighth. Those two baserunners, however, meant that Kenley Jansen would have to survive Paul Goldschmidt before getting the final out.
On a 3-2 pitch with one out, Michael Bourn singled to right, bringing up Goldschmidt as the potential winning run, but the Arizona star slugger fouled a 1-0 cutter (that had a lot of the plate) to Turner for the second out.
Jansen then got within a final strike of victory, but unfortunately for him and the Dodgers, the third didn’t come. After a Bourn stolen base, Jake Lamb hit an RBI double on a 2-2 pitch to tie the game. Though Jansen would then strike out Yasmany Tomas, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks went into extra innings.
Update: Brandon Drury’s RBI single in the bottom of the 12th gave Arizona a 2-1 victory. The Dodgers finished with 18 baserunners but only the one run.