The 32-year-old McGowan has been utterly waylaid by injuries throughout his career. A perusal of the Baseball Prospectus injury data on him reveals that McGowan has endured five surgeries in his professional career: Tommy John surgery as a minor-leaguer, knee surgery in 2009 and three different shoulder surgeries. In all, he's lost almost 800 major-league games to injury. After all that, that he's on an MLB roster at all is a testament to his resolve.
On Friday night, though, he finally got another win -- his first, as you have already surmised, in almost six years. Speaking of that win, it was absolutely merited:
On the season, McGowan now has an ERA of 4.00 in nine innings of work. It remains to be seen how effective he can be, and it obviously remains to be seen whether he can finally experience some semblance of health. Regardless of future outcomes, though, he did something on Friday that some observers probably thought he'd never do again.