Brandon McCarthy pitched in a simulated game at Braves minor league camp Sunday morning, and suffice to say the young hitters were overmatched against the veteran.
McCarthy had 10 strikeouts in five scoreless innings and allowed one hit and one walk.
It was the third spring outing for McCarthy, a 6-foot-7 right-hander who has a 1.35 ERA and .182 opponents’ average in two Grapefruit League starts. The former Dodger has been charged with four hits, one run and one walk with four strikeouts in 6-2/3 innings in those major league games.
McCarthy, who’s in line to start the third game of the regular season, stayed back at camp in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. on Sunday to work on his slider in the simulated game, with Tyler Flowers doing the catching.
It’s not unusual for veteran pitchers to skip a Grapefruit League and work on things in a minor league game or in simulated game conditions, particularly late in spring training.
Luiz Gohara had been set to make his first spring start Sunday against the Tigers but was scratched after spraining his left ankle in a fielding drill Friday, the second injury for the rookie left-hander in the first three weeks of spring training.
He had missed a couple of weeks with a strained groin and won’t be ready when the season begins.
Matt Wisler got the start Sunday against the Tigers and had a rough day, giving up five hits, four runs and two walks in three innings of a 6-3 Braves loss.
Wisler is among several pitchers competing for the fifth rotation spot until Gohara is ready, though he faces long odds at best.