Lot of folks think that the Brewers just needed to win one at St. Louis. Mission accomplished, they're thinking this morning, tonight we play with house money. I disagree. Tonight's game is really important. Here's why.
I regard tonight's game as a wash. Greinke is a better pitcher than Garcia but he's not as good on the road and Garcia had a 2.55 ERA at home. Let's say we lose. The good news is we come home for two. The bad news is that we have to win them both.
Yovani Gallardo will start one of those games and, notwithstanding his lifetime 1-8 record against St. Louis, I don't see him losing twice to those guys - not at Miller Park.
But doesn't Shaun Marcum have to start one of those games. In his last six starts, Marcum is 1-4. He has pitched 33 1/3 innings and given op 30 runs on 46 hits. That is beyond bad. Given that he is a good pitcher, you have to conclude something is wrong. He's either hurt or his mechanics are fouled up. Unless it's the latter and you are pretty sure you've figured out (and I don't see how you can be), he can't be thrown out there again.
There are, however, no good alternatives. One would be to go to Gallardo on Saturday on three days rest and then bring back Wolf on three days rest. I think you do that only if the Cards win tonight.
If they don't and you've got a game to lose in Milwaukee, maybe you go with Marcum and take him out at the first sign of trouble backing him up with Narveson and Estrada. Another idea would be to go with Estrada or Narveson in the first instance. Roenicke's reluctance to start Narveson because he has not pitched regularly (three starts in the past month) is understandable, but is that a bigger risk than running out Marcum again? (For the curious, Narveson was 1-1 with a 1.13 ERA against the Cards this year.)
Of course, baseball has a way of fooling in you. Games can't be reduced to whomever is starting. I am pretty concerned if we lose tonight but here's a bit of hope. Isn't LaRussa's bullpen set to run out of gas?