Dodgers @ Padres April 25, 2015: Brandon McCarthy and strikeouts

It’s funny what getting out of San Francisco can do for a team. The Dodgers were triumphant last night, and it was a solid performance all-around.

Dodgers
Padres
5:30 p.m.
San Diego
SS
Rollins
CF
Myers
RF
Ethier
2B
Solarte
1B
Gonzalez
RF
Kemp
2B
Kendrick
LF
Upton
C
Grandal
1B
Alonso
LF
Crawford
C
Norris
3B
Uribe
3B
Middlebrooks
CF
Pederson
SS
Amarista
P
McCarthy (R)
P
Kennedy (R)

Brandon McCarthy toes the slab today in San Diego, and he has been pretty good so far. Sure, he’s given up a few too many home runs early on (35.3 percent HR/FB), but that won’t last. He hasn’t gotten a ton of ground balls (41.9 percent), especially after posting a 52.6 percent rate last year.

But where he has changed his game is with the strikeout. He has a 12.5 K/9 in three starts. Small sample size for sure, but he’s also doing it with increased velocity on his fastball (93.8 MPH) and cut fastball (91.6 MPH).

There is also this from Jason Collette.

He has increased his strikeout rate by nearly 14 percent since last season. If he isn’t going to get a lot of ground balls, it might as well be because he’s striking more hitters out. The home runs will dissipate, and the ground balls will increase. McCarthy will not be a 12.5 K/9 guy for the entire season, but it’s nice to see he has some more swing-and-miss in him than most thought.

Then there’s this from the good folks at Beyond the Box Score.

Oh hai Joc. No surprise to see Hanley Ramirez atop this list. It’s surprising to see 39-year-old Alex Rodriguez there, but it’s also surprising to see Joc Pederson in the Top 3. The ball does jump off his bat, and hitting the ball hard bodes well for future success (just ask Yasmani Grandal, who has been BABIP’d for most of the season).

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.