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Great Moments in Denial: Shaun Marcum edition

Oct 11, 2011, 9:45 AM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Shaun Marcum bobbles a bunt from St. Louis Cardinals' Jon Jay in the 1st inning of Game 2 of the MLB National League Championship Series baseball playoffs in Milwaukee

If you hadn’t watched last night’s game, and instead, simply read the quotes from manager Ron Roenicke and last night’s starter Shaun Marcum in this Tom Haudricourt blog post, you’d think that Marcum and the Brewers lost a 4-3 game in the late innings or something:

  • “He left the ball up to Pujols in the first inning, tried to come in on him,” said Roenicke. “Beside that, he really wasn’t hit that hard.
  • “I thought my command today was pretty good, definitely a lot better than it was in Arizona and a lot better than it was in my previous starts. I thought I threw the ball better today. When I got ahead in counts, I didn’t make good pitches with my changeup but for the most part I located all right today.”

Always look on the bright side of life, I suppose.

Yes, the Brewers’ defense let Marcum down and no, he wasn’t totally obliterated by hard-hit balls (apart from Pujols, who crushed everything Marcum threw at him). But he seems kinda gassed and there just isn’t an out pitch there. He’s looked horrible for a month now, and that’s whether he’s getting tattooed or not.

So the question is this: if this series goes six games, does Marcum get a start in Game 6?  Right now Roenicke says that he will.  That may be because there isn’t a fantastic option beyond Marcum.  Chris Narveson could go. He started two games against the Cardinals this year and was pretty effective, but it’s not like he’s some panacea or secret weapon or anything.

My guess is that Marcum gets a Game 6 start if there is one but that it becomes an all-hands-on-deck kind of situation and he gets a quick hook.  Because at this point, Ron Roenicke can’t play the “it’s gonna get worse before it gets better” game while waiting for Marcum to return to form.

  1. lukeslice - Oct 11, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    Marcum is more delusional than (singular) bicep!

  2. paperlions - Oct 11, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    Shaun, you were fantastic buddy….don’t listen to the haters. Good luck in game 6 (if necessary).

    This ( is locating well? He was all over the place, got a few calls given to him, and had 3 swings and misses.

    If missing the zone by a foot is locating well….then I guess he did.

  3. cintiphil - Oct 11, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Again I say, he was always overrated.

  4. hueylewis - Oct 11, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    Marcum was shelled and his post game remarks were those of denial. Marcum claimed the baseball gods were angry with him, and that’s why he was so unlucky. His marshmellow arm was givng up texas leaguers and he pitched great. Lol

    Brewers did not receive a beating like that at home this season. Marcum played a large role in it.

  5. stackers1 - Oct 11, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    I’ve seen AJ Burnett give up 8 earned runs & say “I think I threw the ball well today”.

    • daisycutter1 - Oct 11, 2011 at 1:22 PM

      John Lackey too.

      Maybe Marcum spent too much time in the AL East.

  6. Kyle - Oct 11, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    Marcum’s recent struggles pain me. I love the way the guy pitches and there’s something that feels extra brutal when a guy with his velocity starts getting shelled.

    • paperlions - Oct 11, 2011 at 1:31 PM

      Yeah, that feeling is helplessness, when a guy gets by on location and deception instead of stuff…when something hard to pin point isn’t working for guys like that…and their deception is gone…they don’t have any “stuff” to fall back on… leaves a helpless and hopeless feeling.

  7. cur68 - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    That was vintage Marcum yesterday. He relies on hitters to not expect the change up mixed with his muffin fast ball. Good enough when you’re facing the Royals or Orioles but not so much when its the play offs and the opposition has been studying you intently. Once he gets hit a bit, he gets strike zone shy and starts “nibbling”. To be successful he needs an accomplice in the umpire and an anxious hitter. We saw this all the time with the Blue Jays. He’ll need his offence to spot him a big lead, and then he’ll need to start intentionally walking Phat Al. Otherwise he’s done.

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