So far, so good for Brandon McCarthy and the Yankees

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Right-hander Brandon McCarthy made his second start as a Yankee this afternoon, going up against the Reds in an inter-league match-up. McCarthy limited the Reds to one run over six innings, allowing six hits, walking none, and striking out nine. That makes it back-to-back solid starts for McCarthy in his new uniform after coming over from the Diamondbacks in a trade that sent Vidal Nuno to Arizona.

McCarthy allowed four runs over 6 2/3 innings to the Indians in his previous start, but only one of those runs was earned. He credits his recent success to his cut fastball. Via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, McCarthy says the Diamondbacks discouraged him from using the cutter, but the Yankees encouraged him to bring it back. He left the D-Backs with a 5.01 ERA ERA in 109 2/3 innings despite a stellar 93/20 K/BB ratio.

McCarthy, 31, will try to make it three solid starts in a row against the Rangers in his next start.

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.