McCarthy rebounds from two rough starts with a good one vs. Cubs


Braves veteran Brandon McCarthy rebounded from two alarmingly bad starts to pitch six strong innings Wednesday night in a 4-1 win against the Cubs at SunTrust Park.

McCarthy allowed five hits, one run and two walks with a season-high eight strikeouts for the Braves, who snapped a four-game home losing streak and won for the 14th time in 20 games to improve their National League-best record to 26-16.

The efficient 85-pitch outing came after McCarthy got roughed up in consecutive losses to the Giants and Marlins in which he was torched for 23 hits, 14 runs and three homers in just 8-1/3 total innings. 

This after he’d gone 4-0 with a 3.09 ERA in his first six starts.

Here’s what the 34-year-old said after Wednesday’s much-needed performance restored some confidence in him and allowed him to stop wondering and worrying about what had gone wrong in his previous two outings.

On rebounding from two bad starts to pitch six innings of one-run, four-hit ball

“It was nice, pitching-wise, to get back to what I feel like I can do, remember how to attack hitters better, but then mentally just peace of mind where I can breathe a little bit and not feel like you’re the anchor of the team. That starts to add up after a few bad starts in a row, so it was pretty frustrating and it’s good to get that out of the way.”

On manager Brian Snitker saying he thought recent struggles were from sinker not being as crisp and moving as well as it does normally

“Yeah, tonight it was much more about being aggressive in places that I wanted to be. I think I’d gotten a little lazy in the past few starts trying to let pitch movement do more than me actually hitting a spot and then making (the ball) move. So I tried to be much more committed in throwing to places. It just kind of evolved into a much more rounded outing than I’ve had in a while.”

On being efficient tonight, six innings in 85 pitches (56 strikes)

“Trying to focus more on hitting real spots than just hitting areas, I think. Sometimes I have success throwing a sinker to an area and a cutter to an area, and tonight I was much more trying to throw it to an exact spot. The mindset was much more committed and the ball was much livelier coming out of the hand, I think. It just puts a little bit more life into everything.”

On it being more important than just a typical regular-season start for the veteran, giving his recent struggles

“Yeah, whether that happened in June, July -- whenever that happens and you have a couple of bad ones in a row and you’re trying to figure out why, and it’s not immediately apparent, and you have to dig a little bit. But then you’re like, ok, hopefully there’s still something that I can do. It’s just getting that out of the way, and a reminder again that you can go down and then come back up. Just try and ride through the middle.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Braves

Braves’ win streak snapped on three unearned runs in ninth
Braves’ win streak snapped on three unearned runs in ninth

Julio Teheran just needed a little help. Despite his performance on the mound and at the plate, he didn’t get it. The Braves allowed three unearned runs in the ninth inning in a 5-3 loss to the Rockies Thursday night at SunTrust Park. Teheran trailed by a run in the fifth inning despite surrendering just two hits. Teheran’s RBI single in...
Q&A with Ronald Acuna on incident with Marlins
Q&A with Ronald Acuna on incident with Marlins

Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna spoke with the media Thursday, through an interpreter, after he was hit in the left elbow by the Marlins’ Jose Urena and forced to leave Wednesday’s game. He was back in the lineup Thursday in a series opener against the Rockies. Here are excerpts from the interview: Q. How do you feel today? A. First of all...
Q&A with Ender Inciarte on Ronald Acuna incident
Q&A with Ender Inciarte on Ronald Acuna incident

Braves outfielder Ender Inciarte spoke to the media Thursday after rookie Ronald Acuna was hit by a pitch by the Marlins’ Jose Urena and forced to leave Wednesday’s game. Here is a transcript of some of the interview: Q. What was your reaction when you found out the injury to Ronald Acuna was not as bad as it could have been? A. I&rsquo...
Acuna text to Snitker: I’m 100 percent ready to play
Acuna text to Snitker: I’m 100 percent ready to play

Braves manager Brian Snitker got a text message from Ronald Acuna on Thursday afternoon. Give Ender Inciarte an assist for the translation. The message: I’m 100 percent ready to play. That came as quite a surprise after Acuna was forced to leave Wednesday night’s game after he was hit on the left elbow with the first pitch of his first...
Acuna’s elbow OK, Braves outfielder listed day-to-day 
Acuna’s elbow OK, Braves outfielder listed day-to-day 

Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna has been ruled day-to-day after a CT scan performed Wednesday night on his left elbow came back normal, the team announced Thursday. The rookie outfielder left Wednesday’s game after he was hit with the first pitch of his first at-bat by the Marlins’ Jose Urena. Acuna will not miss any time, as he was...
More Stories