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Monday, October 17, 2011

Brewers: Marcum struggles after getting controversial start

Shaun of the dead Brewers: In a time of crisis a hero must rise…from his manager’s chair.

Afterward, Roenicke didn’t back down from his belief in starting Marcum, who surrendered three hits, four earned runs and walking one in taking the loss.

“I know it was the right decision. I’m not second-guessing anything,” Roenicke said. “It was the right decision with the options that we had. These guys pitched well all year; still thought that they had good starts in them. Wasn’t expecting that to happen today, as well as a lot of the other games we didn’t pitch well in.

“I like all five of them. I’ll go through a season anywhere with those five starters.”

The numbers didn’t do much to support Roenicke’s decision coming in. In his two previous post-season starts - one in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Arizona Diamondbacks and the other in Game 2 of the NLCS - he’d gone 0-2 with a 12.46 earned-run average.

Marcum struggled for much of September as well. But the hope was Marcum could rebound in much the same manner as fellow starter Randy Wolf, who was rocked in Game 4 of the NLDS only to pitch seven strong innings in Game 4 in St. Louis to pull the Brewers back even with the Cardinals in the series.

Repoz Posted: October 17, 2011 at 09:50 AM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers, cardinals

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   1. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2011 at 10:31 AM (#3965961)
The core issue is that nobody on the team believed Shaun would pitch effectively

Doing something "risky" like start Narveson or Estrada would have generated a different mindset.
   2. Ron J Posted: October 17, 2011 at 11:02 AM (#3965964)
#1 The secondary issue though was that there was no particular reason to expect Narveson to be effective -- and he wasn't either.

I know Marcum's been terrible for some time, but I think I'd have chosen to hope the better pitcher would return to form than that a mediocrity would manage to hold things together.

If it turns out Marcum's been hiding an injury I know I'd be beyond pissed.
   3. yo la tengo Posted: October 17, 2011 at 11:51 AM (#3965980)
Harvey - Would it have made much sense to reserve Greinke for a home start game 6 and roll the dice on game 5 with Narveson or Estrada?
   4. salvomania Posted: October 17, 2011 at 12:10 PM (#3965989)
I'm kind of shocked that everyone knew Marcum would get blasted except Roenicke....
   5. Ron J Posted: October 17, 2011 at 12:19 PM (#3965992)
#4 It's not like Harvey was second-guessing though.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 17, 2011 at 12:36 PM (#3965995)
What happened to Marcum? Is he just worn out?
   7. zachtoma Posted: October 17, 2011 at 01:22 PM (#3966018)
Narveson sucked just as bad as Marcum, so it's unclear what the Brewers could have done to give themselves a chance in this game.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 17, 2011 at 01:29 PM (#3966028)
Narveson sucked just as bad as Marcum, so it's unclear what the Brewers could have done to give themselves a chance in this game.


Hung onto Mitre? I dunno.
   9. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 17, 2011 at 01:47 PM (#3966039)
Doing something "risky" like start Narveson or Estrada would have generated a different mindset.

I don't see how this is the case at all. Narveson was knocked all over the place just as badly as Marcum, and Estrada started something like seven games all season, and the last ones two months ago. If confidence and mindset was the problem, I don't see a solution available that was going to work out better.

There is a long list of reasons the Brewers lost this series, and the choice of Marcum over someone else is pretty far down on it.
   10. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 17, 2011 at 02:01 PM (#3966050)
The use of Marcum is very (painfully) reminiscent of Jim "Robot" Fregosi using Mitch Williams in the WS of '93, whom every fan, rabid or casual, knew was completely shot. Granted it appears that Roenicke had a Hopson's choice of sort. Fregosi just used his closer because that's what you do.
   11. Kurt Posted: October 17, 2011 at 02:11 PM (#3966058)
Fregosi just used his closer because that's what you do.

Hard to blame him. How many baseball fans could identify the manager of that team? Everyone remembers mitch Wiliams though.
   12. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 17, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3966092)
Hard to blame him.
He had other relievers. Granted, it would have taken b***s to do it; Fregosi was supposed to be this hard as nails manager. A manager should put his team in a position to win. His answers at the time all had to do with using his closer because he was his closer -- regardless of ineffectiveness for the previous 1.5 months. Williams was done, toasted crispy. Fregosi was afraid of rocking the boat and got capsized for his "efforts", but he had a pat answer for any second-guessing.
   13. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2011 at 02:46 PM (#3966103)
No, no, no.

Comparing Narveson reliever to Narveson starter is incorrect. Guys react/respond differently to these roles no matter the situation.

And what about Estrada who has not impressed but had good spot starts for the Crew throughout the season?

And most importantly, it's what the PLAYERS were thinking. And the players knew, KNEW, that Shaun was going to get rocked.

Ron's job was to shake a negative, some might say defeatist, mindset. He didn't do it.

I have been a leader of men in different ways for decades. And I am telling you that starting Shaun Marcum yesterday was sending the WRONG message.

Milwaukee was done before they even hit the field.

And that disappoints me
   14. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2011 at 02:52 PM (#3966107)
But the REAL indictment on Ron was Game 5. The team mailed in a playoff game. A PLAYOFF game.

I have been around teams and THAT squad just flat out did not show up.

Some day I will understand.

Right now I remain stunned
   15. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2011 at 02:53 PM (#3966109)
What was the Brewers first inning ERA during the playoffs? 20ish? I think so
   16. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2011 at 02:55 PM (#3966110)
By the way, how many down the middle, belt high nothing fastballs did David Freese get this series? Five? Six?
   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2011 at 02:57 PM (#3966112)
By the way, I thought Ron did a great job handling the staff during the season. If those guys were as out of gas as they looked in the Cards series something is wrong in Denmark. Because no pitcher should be finished after barely 200 innings or in Greinke's case less than that.

C'mon
   18. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#3966114)
For the record I am hopeful that Prince leaves. The team needs to get Hart out of right field and first base is the only option. And Hart would be a superior defender.

I love what Fielder has done in Milwaukee, but i have little faith in his long-term future. though I hope I am wrong.
   19. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#3966119)
By the way, the Pujols home run against Narveson was crazy. That pitch was shoulder high and outside.

And he somehow whacked it 410 feet
   20. Rally Posted: October 17, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#3966120)
Why would the players be so down on Marcum?

After a great run of pitching in August to early September he had 2 bad starts, giving up 11 runs in 11 2/3 combined innings. He followed that with a a great effort (8 IP, 1 R, 0 BB, 7K) before getting bombed his final start of the year. Then of course he pitched poorly in his first two playoff starts.

Compare that to Randy Wolf. After a run of 3 good starts in September, Wolf was hit hard for his final two starts (10 runs, 11 2/3 innings). Then 7 runs in 3 innings against Arizona. Was there a sense of doom among his teammates as he took the mound in game 4 of this series?

Did Marcum inspire lack of confidence with bad body language or something? It seems his recent work leading up to the game was little different than Wolf's.
   21. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#3966124)
AROM

You need to have seen him pitch. He hasn't had his stuff in WEEKS.

His changeup is his best pitch and it disappeared.. As in GONE.

And without that pitch as his out Marcum is naked to the wolves
   22. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2011 at 03:12 PM (#3966128)
And I am surprised you are taking that Cubs start at face value. after the Brewers got the lead the Cubs packed it in.
   23. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2011 at 03:13 PM (#3966131)
I think the game was over in 2.5 hours. Those guys were looking to be at the dance club by 11
   24. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 17, 2011 at 03:17 PM (#3966133)
But the REAL indictment on Ron was Game 5. The team mailed in a playoff game. A PLAYOFF game.

I have been around teams and THAT squad just flat out did not show up.


These are my feelings on the matter as well. The, gee we get to go back home mindset, fans guilty too. All I could think about was the Cubs laying down in '03 game 5 at Fla (though Z pitched alright in that game).
   25. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 17, 2011 at 03:21 PM (#3966138)
Marcum was afraid to throw a fastball, it was obvious in the lead off AB to Furcal. 5 pitches, then every other fastball was way way way way away from the zone.
   26. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2011 at 03:23 PM (#3966139)
mrams

Well sh*t, he only threw the fastball off the change since his usual fastball was 88/89 mph. No change, that fastball becomes tater bait.
   27. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 17, 2011 at 03:31 PM (#3966146)
But the REAL indictment on Ron was Game 5. The team mailed in a playoff game. A PLAYOFF game.

I have been around teams and THAT squad just flat out did not show up.


If you want to blame Roenicke for this, I won't disagree at all. When a team shows up and executes sloppily, that reflects poorly on the manager, although for much of the season the Brewers did not look like that at all.

But I think the focus on Marcus is badly over-applied here.
   28. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 17, 2011 at 03:38 PM (#3966153)
no doubt Harveys, and to me (& any Brewers fan watching the past month), more than enough evidence to show that Marcum wasn't 'right' and RR et al were watching the same games.

Re: Mound presence, Marcum never seems to be a guy who exuded confidence on the bump, but he definitely looked visually frustrated (himself or w/ Lucroy, don't know), especially in the AZ series.
   29. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 17, 2011 at 03:44 PM (#3966156)
But I think the focus on Marcus is badly over-applied here.


In a link to a Marcum article, no, but overall, you're right. The chief weakness, defense, was revealed, even though one of the biggest oafs didn't field a single ball, and combined with other factors (including STL) the Brewers undoing in this fashion was not at all surprising.

I think the disappointment that Harveys and I seem to share is channeled properly at game 5 and the decision to start Marcum simply put the last stamp on the series.
   30. LionoftheSenate Posted: October 17, 2011 at 03:56 PM (#3966174)
AROM

You need to have seen him pitch. He hasn't had his stuff in WEEKS.

His changeup is his best pitch and it disappeared.. As in GONE.

And without that pitch as his out Marcum is naked to the wolves


But Harveys, FIP says Marcum was stellar over the large sample size of the regular season and you have to expect him to get over the small sample size (4-5 bad starts) and regress back to that great FIP number. (stat geek sarcasm)
   31. Rally Posted: October 17, 2011 at 04:04 PM (#3966182)
I didn't see him pitch last night. I missed the start of the game getting a toddler ready for bed, turned it on to see the Crew down 4-0, and Marcum was done. How long has Marcum been missing that change up?
   32. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2011 at 04:16 PM (#3966193)
A month
   33. DL from MN Posted: October 17, 2011 at 04:40 PM (#3966218)
Greinke would have looked a lot better if his infielders had picked up the ball.
   34. base ball chick Posted: October 17, 2011 at 05:55 PM (#3966314)
harveys is right

i have been a leader of men and boys (hahahaha) my own self (and yeah it IS like herding cats) and i agree completely that roenicke starting marcum who HAD looked like shtt for weeks was packing it in

unless he had direct orders from his bosses to do it

but if harveys could plainly tell that his changeup was gone so could the rest of the guys on the team, the pitching coach and the manager

imnsho, it would have been more sensible for roenicke to have gone privately to marcum and told him - boy, youse gots a dead arm right now and we NEED to look good in front of the rest of the guys and the fans so when i explain to the media that you have a mild groin pull or some bullstuff, you go along with it - and hopefully if you take this week off you'll be stronger for the NLCS because right now, to be honest, you couldn't get a HS kid out.

sometimes it ain't real too smart to keep insisting that youse gotta dance with who brung you
   35. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2011 at 06:47 PM (#3966409)
By the way, the actual method I would have employed last night is start Saito and stretch him to two innings. Then mix and match any of Narveson, Hawkins, Estrada, Loe for the next four and get 3 innings out of Ax/Frankie. Ax can throw two innings as can Frankie.

That would have left Gallardo/Wolf/Zack and whatever reliever still had some gas left in the tank for Game 7.

The Brewers were getting KILLED by first innings. Saito is a reliable guy and I think best suited to handle a unique setup.
   36. LionoftheSenate Posted: October 17, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#3966435)
Greinke would have looked a lot better if his infielders had picked up the ball.


The infielders would have looked a lot better if Greinke K'd at least one hitter.
   37. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 17, 2011 at 07:12 PM (#3966450)
By the way, the actual method I would have employed last night is start Saito and stretch him to two innings. Then mix and match any of Narveson, Hawkins, Estrada, Loe for the next four and get 3 innings out of Ax/Frankie. Ax can throw two innings as can Frankie.


my boss was suggesting this as we complained to each other following game 5. I was actually hoping Saito would come in right after Marcum and that they would simply throw him for 2+ knowing he'd be toast for a possible game 7..
   38. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: October 17, 2011 at 07:19 PM (#3966464)
35: I had virtually the same thought.
Use Saito for an inning or two (I think he's not a guy who can do long stints, however) - bring in Estrada to face the underbelly of the STL lineup and once more through the order. Save Narveson for situational work. If Marcum is to be used, make it as a middle reliever.
   39. Jay Z Posted: October 17, 2011 at 07:39 PM (#3966491)
Actually, the time for the "staff" strategy was Game 5. After Wolf's 7 inning start in game 4, Saito, Hawkins, and the long guys are all rested, plus there's an off day the next day. Push Greinke back to Game 6. If you aren't going to start Marcum, that is what I would do. Less pressure in St. Louis, still not elimination day, maybe you get lucky and sneak one out. Greinke is going to pitch one of those two games anyway, it doesn't matter which one he pitches.

This does not excuse the sorry performance of the team in Game 5.
   40. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: October 17, 2011 at 07:44 PM (#3966496)
That's true.
   41. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 17, 2011 at 08:51 PM (#3966571)
Jay

Greinke is a fussbudget about long rest

He would have likely been all over the place

The downside of having twitchy employees
   42. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: October 17, 2011 at 09:10 PM (#3966597)
That's also true.

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