I'm going to call this one a showcase game. Just a few months ago, McCarthy was one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. Since then, he has gotten shelled in both AAA and the bigs. There's no reason for him to be pitching this game. Freddy Garcia and Jose Contreras could go today and tomorrow on normal rest pushing the 5th starter spot back to Saturday in Oakland. Instead, McCarthy pitches in a more favorable pitchers park against the most impatient team in the AL, but it puts him in line to start 2 games before the All-Star break. Had he been pushed back to Saturday's game, he only would have needed to make one start before the ASB.
I say this is a showcase game because it's been reported that there were Sox scouts at Jason Schmidt's start last night, and the Sox felt this was a better match-up for McCarthy as the Giants scouts fill the stands tonight.