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Is Brandon McCarthy’s start Sunday in jeopardy?

Checking in before Game 2 of the Bay Bridge Series. …

I have a feeling we’ll get some news on Brandon McCarthy after the game, and I’m not expecting it to be positive for A’s fans. McCarthy only stayed on the field a short time during BP before having a chat with manager Bob Melvin and going inside. The indications I’m getting are that he might be scratched from Sunday’s start. The A’s haven’t announced anything, but we know that McCarthy’s nagging shoulder issues are something he’ll deal with all season. And it’s unlikely he’s going to pitch on a normal five-day cycle. It’s really too bad for the guy, because he’s been so dialed in when he’s healthy enough to take the mound. We’ll get more after the game on him. … Follow me at twitter.com/joestiglich for all the updates …

–Before any of this surfaced, I talked to McCarthy in the clubhouse about the pine tar controversy involving Rays reliever Joel Peralta, who was ejected from a game recently when umpires found pine tar on his glove. In the aftermath, Indians closer Chris Perez said that one or two pitchers on every team could be busted for having some sort of foreign substance on their gloves.

“I would say the assessment of that is probably right on,” McCarthy said. He added that he has never used pine tar himself and doesn’t have much knowledge about its effects. But he said pitchers look to use substances such as pine tar out of necessity to get a better grip on the ball. All baseballs used in major league games get rubbed up with a mud-like substance beforehand, which is meant to improve their grip. But McCarthy said baseballs end up feeling like “a cue ball covered in flour.”

Asked in general about pitchers using substances on the ball, McCarthy said: “If most people went out and felt major league baseballs after they’re rubbed up, they’re close to unthrowable. They’re dusty and slippery. I think there’s a level of acceptability before it gets to, ‘Now you’re trying to do something different. You’re not doing this to get a feel of the ball any more, you’re doing this to (get an advantage).’ It’s a slippery slope and one that you really can’t define.”

Joe Stiglich