McCarthy released from hospital as Oakland continues remarkable run
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 00:09
One week ago in the fourth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels, the jumpstart Oakland Athletics endured both a physical and metaphoric blow to their post-season hopes.
After firing a low sinker to LA shortstop Erick Aybar in a 3-1 ballgame, starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy was struck in the head by a returning line drive. As a result, Oakland’s Opening Day starter suffered an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture and was immediately escorted to a nearby hospital. After a week of care, the 29-year old pitcher has been released.
Until his injury, McCarthy had served as a large part of the Athletics’ resurgence that currently has the club slotted for the first of two wild car spots in the American League. In 18 games, the right-hander posted an 8-6 record with a 3.24 ERA and 73 strikeouts. Following a three-year stint with the Texas Rangers, the ground ball pitcher enjoyed career rejuvenation in Oakland last season with a 3.32 ERA.
At the time of print, the 1 st-place Rangers owned a slim three-game lead over the Athletics for the AL West title. The A’s have surprised everyone in their strong chase for a playoff berth this season, which would be their first since 2006. Six years ago, Oakland fell to the eventual AL champion Detroit Tigers in the league championship series, before the Tigers dropped a 5-game set to the St. Louis Cardinals.
These Athletics do share similarities with the last post-season club to come from the Bay Area, though the 2012 version has come as much more of a surprise. The team owns the second-worst batting average in all of baseball and presently competes with two of the sport’s richest clubs, the Angels and Rangers. Continuing tonight, the A’s face 10 more games against their division rivals and an additional six against the Yankees and Orioles.