Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Marcum) at Cardinals (Jackson)

This one should be an interesting road test.

Edwin Jackson (4.11 ERA, 3.54 FIP) takes the mound tonight for the first time since a disaster start against the Brewers last week. Jackson was allowed to pitch seven innings on Wednesday despite the fact that he allowed ten runs (eight earned) on 14 hits, walking one and striking out six. The Brewers homered off of him four times in the game, and Casey McGehee had three of them. Jackson allowed more runs in that outing than he had in his previous 29 innings.

Here are some of the more impressive notes from Jackson's last outing:

Feat First Cardinal since:
14 H Jason Marquis, 2006
4 HR Jason Marquis, 2006
10 R, 7 IP Ed Heusser, 1936

Wednesday's start was Jackson's third of his career against the Brewers: In 2010 he also pitched seven innings against them, but held them to three runs on six hits. Four current Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Yuniesky Betancourt 20 .222 .250 .278 .528
Felipe Lopez 15 .462 .533 .615 1.149
Mark Kotsay 13 .200 .385 .300 .685
Jerry Hairston Jr 10 .500 .600 .500 1.100

Jackson will face Shaun Marcum (3.58 ERA, 3.77 FIP), who is also making his second straight start against an opponent that roughed him up last time out. A week ago today Marcum pitched six innings in an eventual Brewer extra inning loss, allowing six runs on seven hits, a walk and two strikeouts.

There's a fine line between consistent and mediocre, and Marcum has been on it lately. He's eating innings, but not too many (averaging exactly six innings per start since July 1). He's allowed two runs or more in each of those six starts, but only allowed more than four once (a 4.75 ERA), and has allowed at least one home run in eight of his last nine outings. The Brewers are 3-6 in those games.

Marcum has faced the Cardinals twice this season: In addition to the game mentioned above, he pitched seven solid innings on June 12 and held the Cardinals to three runs on five hits. The only Cardinal that's faced him ten times is Corey Patterson, who's hitting .300/.300/.500 in 10 PAs.

The Brewers posted a lineup without Corey Hart, but have since modified it to put him back in:

Corey Hart RF
Nyjer Morgan CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Felipe Lopez 2B
Jonathan Lucroy C
Shaun Marcum P

In the bullpen:

Kameron Loe pitched 1.1 innings (21 pitches) Sunday.
Marco Estrada pitched one inning (20 pitches) Sunday.
John Axford, LaTroy Hawkins, Takashi Saito and Francisco Rodriguez last pitched on Saturday.
Tim Dillard doesn't think you know the meaning of "lonely."

The forecast for tonight shows a brief chance of rain, but it doesn't look like it should be a significant issue. Game time temps will be in the mid 80's and should cool into the high 70's as the night goes along. St. Louis has certainly seen worse.

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