Miller Park has not been a good place for Shaun Marcum, but hopefully that's about to change.
Since the start of the 2005 season the Brewers are 331-236 in games played at Miller Park. 57 of those home wins came last season. They enter play today 3-3 at home following Thursday's loss to the Dodgers. They've got some work to do.
Despite the fact that they've been very good at home, Shaun Marcum (3.46/3.58 ERA/FIP in 2012, 3.54/3.73 in 2011) has struggled at Miller Park as a Brewer. In 17 home starts last season Marcum posted a 4.81 ERA, compared to 2.21 on the road. Nearly two thirds of his home runs allowed in 2011 were at home, while his WHIP dropped below 1 away from Milwaukee.
Marcum will make his first home start of 2012 today after two good outings on the road. On Saturday he held the Braves to two runs on just three hits over seven innings, walking two and striking out six. He threw 105 pitches in the outing, which is a pretty good indication that he's fully stretched out following an abbreviated spring.
Marcum faced the Rockies three times last season, posting a 4.00 ERA over 18 innings with six walks and 16 strikeouts. Five Rockies have faced him ten times or more:
He'll face 24-year-old Venezuelan righthander Jhoulys Chacin (5.63/5.99 ERA/FIP in 2012, 3.62/4.23 in 2011), whose 2012 season has gotten off to a rough start. Chacin pitched four innings against the Diamondbacks on Saturday and allowed a run on four hits, walking three and striking out five. He only threw 64 pitches in the outing. He hasn't recorded an out in the fifth inning this season.
Chacin's biggest flaw is control: He led the National League with 87 walks allowed last season despite pitching less than 200 innings, and has already walked eight opposing batters over eight innings this season. He throws a roughly 90 mph fastball with a steady mix of changeups, curves and sliders to go with it. Pitch F/x quantifies the slider as his best pitch.
Chacin is facing the Brewers for the second time in his career. The other time came last season, when he allowed five runs on seven hits over 6.1 innings. Aramis Ramirez is the only Brewer who's faced him ten times or more: He's 5-for-9 with a walk, two doubles and a home run against him.
Here's tonight's lineup:
Rickie Weeks 2B
Norichika Aoki CF
Ryan Braun LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Corey Hart RF
Mat Gamel 1B
Alex Gonzalez SS
Jonathan Lucroy C
Shaun Marcum P
In the bullpen:
Kameron Loe pitched one inning (13 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Wednesday.
Manny Parra pitched 1.1 innings (23 pitches) yesterday.
Tim Dillard pitched .2 innings (11 pitches) yesterday.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (20 pitches) Wednesday.
John Axford pitched one inning (14 pitches) Wednesday.
Jose Veras pitched one inning (13 pitches) Wednesday.
Marco Estrada last pitched on Sunday and is expected to start tomorrow.
Mike McClendon last pitched on Sunday for Nashville.
The weather outside the ballpark is going to be cold and windy tonight, with a game time temperature around 45 and dropping to around 40 by the end of the night. It won't matter inside, though, as the Miller Park roof will almost certainly be closed.