McCarthy ready for the Opening Night stage

March 27, 2012, 3:55 pm
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TOKYO, JAPAN Wednesday night Brandon McCarthy will take the mound for the first pitch of the 2012 baseball season. It will be on the worldwide stage with millions of people watching both home and in Japan.The moment does not seem to be putting any extra pressure on McCarthy at least outwardly. At Tuesdays workout, the right-hander seemed mellow and even introspective.My mental preparation is the same as if this was in the States or in the middle of July McCarthy said. Mentally its the same, just one pitch at a time. Its in a different location with different fans. But when you consider all that it becomes too much. Just keep it as simple as possible.Its been quite the trip for McCarthy, once a top-tier prospect. He came to Oakland last season after spending time in Chicago and Texas. He was the teams fifth starter a year ago. This year hes the ace.RELATED: Brandon McCarthy 2011 game logs
Bob Melvin named McCarthy the Opening Night starter as spring training arrived last month. Now the As manager expects him to be ready for the big moment at Tokyo Dome.If anyone we have insulates himself in his preparation its him, Melvin explained after Tuesdays press conference. Hes well prepared when he takes the mound, he knows exactly what he wants to do. He relies on his strengths and doesnt get too far out there.His first task is not an easy one. Not only will there be extra pressure due to the Japanese locale, but he takes the ball facing Ichiro Suzuki on his home turf. The crowd is expected to be raucous in favor of the Mariners due to Ichiros icon status here.Oh, and then theres Felix Hernandez as his counterpart for Seattle. Its not the simplest order for McCarthy. His teammates expect him to live up to the moment.We expect a lot out of him, hes out ace, Coco Crisp said. Tomorrow is going to be a battle of the aces, and he have to support him.Ichiro. King Felix. Tokyo Dome. Brandon McCarthy will need support from his team. But it does not seem like he needs the emotional kind.

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