Brandon McCarthy has pitched 221 games in the major leagues, none of them in the postseason. He has played for four teams that appeared in the playoffs, but he never appeared in them.
This would be his fifth chance — not a good chance, but a chance nonetheless. The Dodgers had clinched the National League West, and they offered him an audition Friday, for a spot as a long reliever on the playoff roster.
He is 33, and a dozen years into his major league career. The chances are increasingly precious. This one is all but gone.
After the Dodgers got five solid innings from Rich Hill, they asked McCarthy for a couple more. He could not deliver even one out.