Now that Milwaukee’s lengthy winning streak in Houston has
ended, the Brewers hope Shaun Marcum can help them get back on
Marcum seeks to ensure the Brewers avoid a two-game sweep
Thursday night by continuing both his recent success overall and
against the Astros.
Milwaukee starting pitchers had posted a 1.37 ERA over the
previous seven games before Wednesday, when Randy Wolf was tagged
for seven runs in four innings of an 8-3 loss that snapped the
Brewers’ six-game winning streak in Houston.
The Astros (16-21) scored more than half the 13 runs they’d
totaled during their home skid to Milwaukee. Onetime Brewers
slugger Carlos Lee homered for the first time since April 22 and
drove in three runs to help his current team snap a four-game
overall losing streak.
“I’ve said before (the Astros) are a scrappy team,” Brewers
manager Ron Roenicke said. “Offensively, these guys can swing the
bat. They are always on base. They are hard to get out.”
Milwaukee (16-21), which has dropped three of four, hopes Marcum
can deliver a fourth straight strong outing Thursday.
Marcum (2-1, 3.07 ERA) is 2-0 with a 2.52 ERA in four starts
against the Astros, but he allowed four runs and walked four in a
season-low five innings of a 7-5 loss to Houston on April 25. The
right-hander has posted a 1.80 ERA in three starts since then,
though and Saturday earned his first win since April 9, giving up a
run and three hits in seven innings of an 8-2 victory over
“He’s got four pitches, and he’s got command of all of them. He
can expose things,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum told the Brewers’
official website. “He can maneuver the ball around, in and out, and
he cuts it and changes and throws a slow curveball, and he’s very
deceiving in his motion, and how quick he is to the plate makes him
deceiving as well.”
Lee, 2 for 7 with a home run versus Marcum, is 11 for 21 in his
last five games. He’s batting .429 with three homers and 10 RBIs
during a nine-game hitting streak against Milwaukee.
“I’m feeling real good right now,” said Lee, who played for the
Brewers in 2005 and 2006. “I’ve kind of found something that’s
keeping me in a good position to hit.”
Scheduled Houston starter J.A. Happ (2-3, 5.72) looks to avoid
losing a third straight start after giving up 11 runs and four
homers in 10 innings over his last two outings. The left-hander
allowed five runs in five innings of a 5-2 loss at Pittsburgh on
“It’s another start where everything seems like it’s going along
OK and then all of a sudden things start going against it,” Happ
said. “That’s where my frustration comes from.”
Happ, who yielded four runs and two homers in five innings
against Marcum and the Brewers on April 25, is 2-2 with a 5.70 ERA
in six career starts versus Milwaukee.
Corey Hart, who homered for one of Milwaukee’s five hits
Wednesday, is 7 for 15 with three doubles and a home run off Happ.
The All-Star right fielder is batting .404 with five homers and
nine RBIs during a 12-game hitting streak against the Astros.