Saturday, October 15, 2011

Not good. Not good at all.

I think that the expectation that the Brewers are likely to win two at Miller Park is misplaced. I would place the likelihood of that happening as a little better than one in five. My former student and research assistant Nathan Petrashek does a nice job of defending Shaun Marcum but the inescapable fact is that his recent outings have been awful. In today's paper, Brewer pitching coach Rick Kranitz talks about Marcum's need to keep the ball down in the strike zone. But that's not a new relevation - that's Marcum's game and he's been unable to do it on a consistent basis for awhile now.

I also worry about Marcum's reaction to the pressure of the playoffs. Tossing his glove up in the air when Paul Goldschmidt hit a grand slam in game three of the NLDS suggests a guy who may not have it together. I hope I'm wrong but I can't give the Brewers more than a 1 in 4 chance of winning on Sunday. Maybe Marcum gets it back or maybe the Brewers win a slugfest - the Cards' bullpen has to fail sooner or later - but the likelihood is that we lose it in six - at home.

But if we can even the series, game seven is not quite even money. You like Gallardo in a big game but I assume that St. Louis will come back with Carpenter who you like just as much. It's great that the Brewers will be at home (and that Gallardo will have full rest), but the combination of Carpenter and Gallardo's 1-8 life time record against St. Louis makes that game a slightly less than even proposition for the Brewers.

But I'll be there for both games if we play 'em and would love to see young Mr. Petrashek explain why I was completely wrong (complete with stats and pitch charts, please). I'll be cheering for Marcum to make his critics (including me) eat their words. But just now I don't see it.


Anonymous said...

A sober analysis that still leaves room for hope.

Nathan Petrashek said...

Here's my latest contribution to the ongoing discussion on Marcum:

To sum it up, the (admittedly small) bits of data I looked at suggest that Marcum does need to get back to throwing his plus-change, as he's shifted away from that toward his average to below-average fastballs late in the season.

So yeah, there's plenty of room for hope if the fix is as simple as that. And I hope it is, because I'll be at the Keg tomorrow night too, and I plan on celebrating a win.

Nathan Petrashek said...

I'm truly and deeply sorry to say that you won't be receiving that explanation. In the end, it looks like it wouldn't have mattered who took the mound short of Mike Caldwell circa 1982.