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February 20, 2009

Big Mac Attack

Brandon McCarthy was more than happy with his live batting practice session Thursday. He was ecstatic.

 "I need to turn down the intensity a little out there," he said "I’m at about 110 percent right now. It’s getting to that point now where you forget about the injuries and it’s not sitting in the back of your mind.

"I can focus on my pitching now instead of wondering, ‘is this going to hurt?’ Days like today are important to get through and be healthy."

McCarthy and I talked for a column which ran in Friday's print edition, but he had plenty more to say than what I was able to use there.

 On John Danks' success with the White Sox: "I’ve always paid attention to what he’s done because I’m a baseball fan and I know my end of things hasn’t gone in the right direction, but I don’t sit here and fixate on what he’s done. I have the mindset that I can control only what I can control.

"I know if I’m healthy and I go out and pitch it’s all going to equal out in the long run. It’s not there, not in the back of my mind at all, but I understand how fans look at it and how it looks from the outside."

 Even though most of the pitchers are far ahead of the hitters, who are still catching up on their timing, McCarthy's 10-minutes of live BP were impressive.

 "He looks good. He's confident in his stuff," said Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who caught the batting practice session. "He was hitting his spots."

 Even with McCarthy letting hitters know what pitch was coming, the group he faced -- Marlon Byrd, David Murphy, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Taylor Teagarden and Andruw Jones -- put just five balls into play.

 "He looks great, but everybody looks great to me right now," Hamilton said. "Ask me again in 10 days."

 -- Jim Reeves

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