CINCINNATI -- Brandon McCarthy has done his best not to dwell on, or think about, the line drive he took off his head last September that fractured his skull and caused a brain contusion.
That seemed to be going just fine until Aug. 4 -- his first start back after a stint on the disabled list with a shoulder issue.
In the fifth inning of that game vs. the Red Sox, Shane Victorino hit a shot back up through the middle that nearly hit McCarthy.
"The ball that Victorino hit back at me kind of [messed] me up," McCarthy said. "I don't feel like I take it out to the mound with me, but that was the first time I was really shaken after something."
It came a couple of months after McCarthy suffered a seizure while out to dinner with his wife, Amanda. The seizure was related to the head trauma he suffered last year.
"You do as much as you can to forget and move and move and move and move, but for that [Victorino's liner] to happen coming off the DL, with the seizure and you're on medication and all of a sudden these things become very real again," McCarthy said. "That happens, and you realize you're that close away again, without being able to feel like I have any protection. We're not there yet with a [protective] hat. It's just trying as much as you can to get past it, get past it, get past it and just take the [darn] ball and go out and throw. I think it still exists in there, I just don't know to what extent it does."
McCarthy speculated that his mechanical issue of flying open -- pulling his glove away from his body as his arm comes forward -- could be in an effort to protect himself on the mound.
That prevents McCarthy from finishing his pitches in a strong position and could explain why his cutter has not been an effective pitch for him lately.
The D-backs hope McCarthy figures it out soon, because they can ill afford another disaster like Wednesday night -- when he allowed seven runs and lasted just 2 1/3 innings.
"I don't know if it's as much mechanical as he thinks it is," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "I saw him throw two pitches to [Reds catcher Devin] Mesoraco, just wipe out. How many balls did you see those guys swing over the top of sinkers down and in? How many balls did they hit off their foot [Wednesday] night? Pretty simple, what you want to go with in my mind. He's been throwing his cutter a lot, and I don't think it's a great pitch for him. He's not consistent with it."
Miley serves as Parra's glove whisperer
CINCINNATI -- D-backs outfielder Gerardo Parra has one Gold Glove in his trophy case and could very well pick up a second this year.
So one would expect Parra to be an expert when it comes to breaking in a new glove, but that is not the case.
"Wade does my gloves," Parra said.
Wait, Wade Miley? The pitcher?
"He likes to break in my gloves," Parra said. "I tell him what I like and he does it. I like his attitude, everything with him is positive. Everything he does is positive."
Parra likes to have the thumb of his glove flared out a bit and a deep pocket. He explained that to Miley last year and was pleased with the result. Now, apparently Parra does not have to ask Miley any more.
"When he sees I have a new glove, he goes and takes it," Parra said.
"That's really false," Miley said before yelling across the clubhouse at Parra. "'G! That's a lie.'"
That may be in dispute, but what is not is that sometimes Miley hangs onto the gloves a little longer than maybe necessary.
"It only takes him two or three days," Parra said. "But he never brings it back, I have to go get them from him."
Parra uses one glove per season, with a backup ready just in case. If he plays winter ball following the season, he'll use the same glove he used during the regular season. But when that's over, that's it for the glove; he puts it in his living room at home where all of his other gloves are, including the one he used to win the Gold Glove in 2011.
Miley said he has no secret to breaking in gloves. He just takes it into the batting cage located behind the D-backs' dugout and plays catch with the pitching machine, nicknamed "Iron Mike."
"I just go in there and start letting it sling baseballs at me, and I just catch them," Miley said. "I do stand to the side just to be safe, because you never know what you're getting out of 'Iron Mike' sometimes."
Frazier's hit garners tip of the hat from Ziegler
CINCINNATI -- Brad Ziegler could only shake his head.
Ziegler threw a slider that backed up a bit and ran in on right-handed hitter Todd Frazier in the eighth inning Wednesday night.
Frazier looked fooled on the pitch -- his body was moving back away from it -- but somehow he was able to get his bat on it and drop it into center for an RBI single.
"I felt like I made a pretty good pitch and, obviously, fooled him, but that's part of why he's a big league hitter," Ziegler said. "To still have the hand-eye coordination to do that, you just kind of tip your hat -- there's nothing you can do."
Not even Frazier could explain how he exactly did it.
"I don't know what I was doing," he said. "It was just confusing. I knew he had a nasty slider. It started like two feet behind me. I'm like, 'It's going to come back in.' I kind of jumped out of the way. I don't know why my body just does its own thing. I said I had to go down with a fight, just put the barrel on it. Away it went. It was just one of those silly swings. It felt pretty good afterwards."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.