It didn’t seem to visibly affect Shaun Marcum during his five innings of action on Thursday night, but Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said after the Brewers’ loss to the Astros that Marcum had “felt a little something” like a cramp during pre-game long toss.
“I don’t know what it was,” Roenicke said. “(Athletic trainer) Dan (Wright) checked him out and I walked out there. … After he started warming up he didn’t feel it again.
“He thinks it was a cramp.”
Article continues below ...
And for four straight innings, Marcum seemed to be handling the Astros at 100 percent. He allowed three hits in those innings and seemed to have decent control of his pitches.
But the fifth inning couldn’t have gone much worse for Marcum as he began to lose control, leaving pitches up in the zone and giving up three straight hits—one of which was a home run — to start the inning. In all, Marcum gave up four runs (three earned). It was enough for Houston to sweep the Brewers in the second half of their short road trip.
Marcum had shown some signs of being the Brewers third-best pitcher in his last outings, working his ERA down to 3.07 in a one-run, seven-inning win in Chicago. But like he has through his four starts in the month of May, Marcum followed up a solid performance with a less-than-stellar one.
Roenicke was visibly frustrated again after tonight’s game, as Marcum’s four-run fifth inning was the only scoring in the game for either side.
“Nothing is going right,” Roenicke said.
And although we may never know if Marcum’s pre-game soreness had anything to do with his struggles, all he needed was a fifth-inning-gone-wrong for Thursday’s game to go south.