"I came out of the gate hot, attacked a good team and it started to catch up with me on the back end," McCarthy said. "I avoided the middle of the plate against good hitters."
McCarthy, carrying over the increased velocity that led to his four-year contract from the Dodgers, struck out six and pitched out of a sixth-inning jam when the Dodgers led only 2-0.
With runners on the corners and no outs, McCarthy got Carlos Gonzalez to pop up and turned a Troy Tulowitzki comebacker into a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning.
"I didn't want to let him be the guy that does the damage here," McCarthy said of the Tulowitzki at-bat.
McCarthy said he threw relatively few sinkers, relying on fastballs, cutters and catcher A.J. Ellis' lead.
"A.J. did a great job selecting pitches," McCarthy said.
Ellis said he liked that McCarthy kept attacking, leading to six strikeouts, many on fastballs up in the zone.
"I see a guy coming at you like a freight train," Ellis said.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.