Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Marcum) vs. Phillies (Halladay)

You've got the book on Shaun Marcum by now, yes? In case you've been locked in the crawl space for the last four months, here are the Cliff's Notes: Marcum's put together a nice 2.9 fWAR season thus far, with a 12-5 record, a 3.11 ERA, and a very good 3.49 FIP in 176 innings. His K/9 rate is right at his career average (7.3), his BB/9 rate is a touch lower than his career mark (2.50 this year, 2.73 for his career), and his WHIP is an impressive 1.09.  Marcum's go-to pitch is typically his excellent changeup, which was worth 26.0(!) runs above average last year, but this season his 87-mph fastball has been his most valuable pitch: it's at 11.5 runs above average, compared to 5.4 runs above average for the change and 6.5 runs above average for his sneaky 84.7 mph cutter.

There are only two Phillies who have faced Marcum more than 10 times in their careers: Raul Ibanez has a .736 OPS in 21 PAs, and Jimmy Rollins has a .600 OPS in 10 plate appearances. But danger lurks just below the 10 PA cutoff: Placido Polanco has five hits against Marcum in nine career PAs, and Ryan Howard has homered twice against Marcum in seven plate appearances.

In case you haven't been paying attention for the last five years or so: Roy Halladay is really, really good at pitching. And this year has been no different -- and, in fact, it might end up being the best of his career: Halladay's currently in the midst of a stellar 7.4 fWAR season, rocking a 2.49 ERA, an absurd 2.12 FIP, and a slightly-less-absurd 2.61 xFIP. Dude's already thrown 202 innings, he's got seven (7) complete games all on his own, his K/9 rate (8.66) is the highest of his outstanding career, and his BB/9 rate is just 1.15. To summarize all this in an Internet-friendly acronym: GLWT.

FanGraphs says that Halladay throws four pitches: a 92-mph four seamer, a 90-mph cutter, a 77-mph curveball, and an 82-mph splitter.  (That last one might be some kind of classification boo-boo: according to FanGraphs, this is the first time ever that Halladay has featured a splitter as a prominent part of his arsenal. Maybe it's a misclassified changeup?) Anyway, Doc throws the cutter the most of the four pitches (45% of the time), but all four pitches are above average and the curve and cutter are especially good: the cutter is 19.1 runs above average, and the curve is 14.3 runs above average.

My knees are getting weak.

Six Brewers have faced Halladay in ten or more plate appearances:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Jerry Hairston
34 .097 .152 .097 .248
Yuni Betancourt
15 .333 .333 .467 .800
Nyjer Morgan
14 .143 .143 .214 .357
Mark Kotsay
12 .250 .250 .250 .500
Rickie Weeks
11 .300 .364 .300 .664
Prince Fielder
10 .600 .600 1.100 1.700

 

Tonight's lineup:

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

And out in the 'pen:

LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1 inning (18 pitches) on Wednesday.
Frankie de la Cruz pitched 1 inning (34 pitches) last night.
Kameron Loe pitched 1 inning (12 pitches) Tuesday.
John Axford pitched 1 inning (12 pitches) Monday.
Takashi Saito pitched 1 inning (14 pitches) Sunday.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched 1 inning (14 pitches) Sunday.
Marco Estrada pitched 1 inning (21 pitches) last night.
Tim Dillard pitched 1.1 innings (23 pitches) last night.

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