The hit saved McCarthy from a slightly-ignominious fate, as he fell just four plate appearances short of becoming the player having had most career PAs in the recorded history of the game, without a hit. His groundout in the third inning on Friday brought him into a tie for third place, three behind the all-time "champion," Randy Tate of the 1975 Mets. Tate started 23 games, came to the plate 47 times, and reached base twice: once on an error by the first baseman, and once when the Padres' Rick Folkers inexplicably walked him. Randy did however have some hits in the minors: hell, he even homered for Class-A Pompano Beach in 1973.
Here are the top 10 on that list, up until the point on Friday when McCarthy erased his name from the Hall of Infamy.
I note he doesn't actually strike out that often, for his position: the average pitcher K's about 36% of PAs, and McCarthy's career-rate is now 31%: his 25 non-sacrifice balls in play without a hit is actually the most of anyone on the list. Nice to see his career BABIP has ballooned as a result of the hit, going all the way up to .030: perhaps there'll be some more regression in his future? However, Brandon still has his pristine record of zero runs scored to hold on to: his 45 PAs have him 26th on the all-time list there, and he could move into the top fifteen by the end of this season, if he doesn't cross home-plate.
The hit leaves the Red Sox's Jon Lester, Acting President of the Ohfer Club, currently at 0-for-31; as a lifelong Bostonian and thus American Leaguer, he doesn't have any minor-league hits to fall back on either. Keep an eye on him next May, when the Red Sox play in Atlanta. McCarthy moves up to the list of those who got one hit in the major-leagues, but has some work before he gets up to the top of that. The leader is Fred Gladding, who went 1-for-63 over 68 PAs between 1961 and 1973, and has the lowest career OPS of anyone with 50 PAs, at .031. As an aside, tied for second on the Onefer list, at 1-for-47 in 54 PAs, is former Diamondback Aaron Heilman.
But it's clear that Brandon has his sights set on continuing his ascent:
One hit down, 4255* left to go. (*at bats until my 2nd hit)— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) September 14, 2013