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Marcum's Grand Slam Not Enough as Diamondbacks Rally to Defeat Brewers 8-6

WP: Sam Demel (2-2)
LP: John Axford (2-2)
SV: David Hernandez (4)

HR: Hart (9), Marcum (1), Montero (10), Pena (5)

MVP: Shaun Marcum (+.313 Total, +.289 Batting, +.024 Pitching)
LVP: John Axford (-.365)

Win Expectancy Graph

Sorry for the late recap, I just got back from the game and decided to write one since there wasn't one posted yet.

It wasn't enough to watch the Brewers squander a five-run lead yesterday.  We got to see a repeat of it today.

The Brewers got the scoring started in the 3rd inning.  After Casey McGehee doubled and Jonathan Lucroy singled, Shaun Marcum came up with McGehee at 3rd and Lucroy at 1st.  Ron Roenicke called for the last thing you would expect in a situation with a runner like McGehee at 3rd: a squeeze play.  Marcum got the bunt down and McGehee would have been out on a good throw, but the Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero couldn't handle the throw and McGehee scored.

After Montero made up for his error with a solo HR in the 4th inning, the Brewers came back with a big inning.  Corey Hart started the inning with a towering HR off of the scoreboard.  Prince Fielder and Casey McGehee followed it up with singles, and Jonathan Lucroy walked to load the bases.  That's when Shaun Marcum came to the plate with two outs.  In a situation like this, you would be happy to just clear the pitcher in the batting order.  However, Marcum drove an 0-2 slider into the Brewers bullpen for his first career home run and the first grand slam for the Brewers this season.  That inning would be the end of Daniel Hudson's day, who left after giving up six runs (five earned) in four innings.

Unfortunately, the Brewers pitching and defense wasn't up the to the task of holding the lead.  Marcum would give up three more runs in his six innings and exit the game with a 6-4 lead.  Marcum wasn't on top of his game today, but he wasn't terrible either.  In six innings, he allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts on only 86 pitches.

The game went to the bullpen, and they weren't able to hold the lead.  LaTroy Hawkins allowed a run on two hits in the seventh, ending his scoreless appearances streak at 22.  After that, Ron Roenicke's "eight-inning guy" Kameron Loe came into the game.  He allowed hits to all four batters he faced, and was only able to record two outs because of good throws to third base to get runners trying to advance.  Loe now has seven losses and three blown saves as the "eighth-inning guy".

John Axford then came into the game with two outs in the eighth inning and got a strikeout to end the threat.  The Brewers still had a tie entering the ninth inning with Axford on the mound, and then it got worse.  Kelly Johnson reached base and advanced to second on a wild pitch that Lucroy should have been able to block.  Then, with two outs, a Chris Young single gave the Diamondbacks the lead.  Young then got to third base as Lucroy made a bad throw to second base on a steal attempt, and the ball went into center field after Yuniesky Betancourt couldn't even knock it down.  Montero had a single to get Young in, and another single ended Axford's day.  Marco Estrada entered and had a wild pitch of his own that allowed the runners to advance, then allowed a walk to load the bases.  He managed to strike out Gerardo Parra to end the threat.

Not all of this game can be blamed on the pitching and defense.  The Brewers could have used some more runs, but the offense had already checked out for the day after the fourth inning.  From the fifth inning on, only one more runner was in scoring position (in the sixth inning).  David Hernandez struck out Rickie Weeks, Nyjer Morgan, and Corey Hart in order with sixteen pitches in the ninth inning to end it.

With the St. Louis Cardinals winning against the Cincinnati Reds, the Brewers fell back into second place by one game in the division, and only a half game ahead of the third place Pittsburgh Pirates.  Tomorrow will provide another attempt to get back on track, but you have to hope that something is going to change soon.