Brandon McCarthy savors a touch of failure

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Brandon McCarthy was fairly explicit in describing Wednesday's outing against the Chicago Cubs, using a term to describe the output of a horse's digestive system, but he also found a silver lining on a gray afternoon.

"I kind of like sometimes failing in spring because it gives you a better idea of what you need to do," McCarthy said. "It kind of takes off the bulletproof sheen that you get in the offseason of, ‘I'm going to win the Cy Young this year and everything's going to be where I want it,' and you realize right away it's still just as hard as you remember."

McCarthy, making his third spring start, got through his four scheduled innings, but along the way he allowed six runs on eight hits, including a Chris Coghlan home run in the Dodgers' 7-5 loss. He said he felt off mechanically and that his pitches weren't doing what he intended for them to do.

"Sinkers were cutting, cutters were sinking, everything was going the wrong direction," McCarthy said.

If that wasn't bad enough, McCarthy's wife, Amanda, got caught in stadium traffic on the way to Camelback Ranch, with a big crowd on hand, as usual, with the Cubs visiting. Apparently, she just gave up, asking her Twitter followers to update her on the game's developments.

"I will be here all game, I guess," she said.