Mets-White Sox Preview
Shaun Marcum has finished five consecutive seasons with a winning record.
The right-hander is still looking for his first win with the New York Mets, however, as he takes the mound against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.
"It's been a three-month ordeal for me," said Marcum, signed by the Mets this year after two winning seasons with Milwaukee and three for Toronto.
Marcum (0-9, 5.76 ERA) has lost four straight starts for New York (30-43). A lack of offensive help has been a problem all season, as his 2.43 run support average would be the lowest in the majors if he had thrown enough innings to qualify. However, Marcum hasn't done much to help himself in his last two outings, posting a 9.58 ERA.
He had a season-high four walks and allowed five runs in 4 2-3 innings of last Wednesday's 5-3 loss in Atlanta. It was his shortest start since May 10.
"He's had some rough starts, but he's also pitched very well at times," manager Terry Collins said.
The good news for Marcum is that he's always fared well versus the White Sox, though he hasn't faced them since 2010. All five starts he made against them were Toronto victories as he went 3-0 with a 2.48 ERA. Chicago is the only AL team to which he's never lost besides Texas.
The White Sox (32-42) nearly suffered an ugly loss Tuesday, when Gordon Beckham flubbed a pop-up in the ninth inning to allow the tying run to come home for the Mets. However, Alexei Ramirez's RBI single in the bottom of the inning gave Chicago a 5-4 win.
"You're at a loss to describe it," manager Robin Ventura said. "At least they gathered together and scored a run in the next inning. But it's just a communication thing, and you got to clean it up."
The White Sox are tied for fifth in the majors with 54 errors, including two in the eighth inning Sunday that helped Kansas City steal a 7-6 victory.
John Danks (1-4, 5.40) also has had a rough go of it. The left-hander hasn't had much help from his teammates, getting 17 runs of support over six starts this season.
Then again, Danks hasn't pitched very well in his last two outings and lost both, recording an 8.18 ERA while opposing batters hit .354. That includes Thursday's 8-4 loss at Minnesota as he surrendered 12 hits and four home runs, both career highs, while giving up six runs in five innings.
"You can't just point out one thing that's gone wrong at this point," said Danks, who has never faced the Mets.
At least he's back at U.S. Cellular Field, where he has a 2.57 ERA on the season compared to 7.29 on the road. Nine of the 10 home runs Danks has allowed have come away from home.
New York's Eric Young snapped a streak of three straight multihit games Tuesday, but he did record a double for the fourth straight game. Prior to Friday, he had gone 15 straight games without an extra-base hit.