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.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.
Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.
Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.
Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.