Tagged: Braden Looper

Milwaukee Brewers Uniform Number History: #41

Wondering who wore a certain uniform number all-time for the Milwaukee Brewers?

The Brewer Nation has got you covered. If you found this list on its own, head back here for the full repository after checking out this one.

#41

Ray Peters (’70)
Jim Slaton (’71-’77, ’79-’83)
Jack Lazorko (’84)
Ray Searage (’84-’86)
Mike Birkbeck (’86)
Mark Knudson (’86-’91)
Edwin Nunez (’91)
Jose Mercedes (’94-’98)
Kyle Peterson (’99)
Matt Williams (’00)
Everett Stull (’00)
Jeffrey Hammonds (’01-’03)
Dan Kolb (’03-’04, ’06)
Tommy Phelps (’05)
Greg Aquino (’07)
Braden Looper (’09)
Jeremy Jeffress (’10)
Marco Estrada (’11-’14)
Taylor Jungmann (’15)
Junior Guerra (’16-Current)

Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers: #18 Shaun Marcum

It’s been a long off-season for baseball fans, made to feel somewhat longer here in the Midwest by mild temperatures that we normally don’t feel until the regular season is well underway.

The Brewers made their first League Championship Series since appearing in American League’s version back in the 1980s. That means the off-season is officially shorter for Brewers fans and players, but after falling two wins shy of the National League pennant and an appearance in the World Series it’s been a painful shortened time.

There isn’t anyone among us in Brewer Nation who can claim a longer or more painful off-season than that of Brewers starting pitcher, and subject of today’s profile:

Shaun Marcum.

Acquired during the preceding off-season for top prospect Brett Lawrie, plenty was expected of Shaun Michal Marcum before he ever put on a Milwaukee Brewers jersey.

After missing the entire 2009 season while a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, Marcum rebounded in 2010 and seemed healthy and effective enough in doing so.

Milwaukee was in desperate need of an upgrade to its rotation after suffering for years with the likes of Jeff Suppan, Braden Looper, Dave Bush and even a stunted comeback attempt by Doug Davis. Sure, Yovani Gallardo was doing well and free-agent pickup Randy Wolf was fine enough, though overmatched by trying to be the number two, but they needed more front-end talent.

The Toronto Blue Jays made Marcum available and Doug Melvin pulled the trigger on the straight-up swap. The reason for the cost was because Marcum is talented and showed himself to be healthy. This is the same guy that pitched Opening Day for the Blue Jays in 2010.

It was immediately apparent that the Brewers had acquired a new number two…well, at least until the Zack Greinke deal went down.

Marcum’s 2011 campaign almost didn’t start off with the team. He suffered through a bout of shoulder stiffness (the same as he’s going through right now in 2012) that nearly took him to the disabled list. He was able to get up to enough of a pitch count to be deemed ready-to-go out of the gate. With fellow import Greinke on the DL with a cracked rib, Marcum was even more necessary to start the season on the right foot.

He began the year with very good results and was arguably the team’s best pitcher for the first two months of the season. Who knows how long that level of play would have kept up and what kind of season numbers he could have posted if not for a hip injury suffered during interleague play prior to a start at Fenway Park on June 17.

It’s my opinion that Marcum wasn’t the same all season after that injury.

His numbers prior to the injury look like this:

14 GS, 7-2 record, 90.2 IP, 69 H, 29 R (27 ER), 2.68 ERA, 23 BB, 83 K, 7 HR, 1.02 WHIP

And his number post-injury (regular season only) were:

19 GS, 6-5 record, 110.0 IP, 106 H, 55 R (52 ER), 4.26 ERA, 34 BB, 75 K, 15 HR, 1.27 WHIP

Still, Marcum managed to start 33 games in 2011 (winning 13 of them), but the season caught up to him eventually.

Despite all his overtures to the contrary, it was pretty apparent that something was wrong with Shaun Marcum this past October. He says he wasn’t injured, and while that must be true, he certainly wasn’t effective.

Now, all players go through certain periods of worse success than “usual”. Marcum is no exception and he and his coaches claim that all the 2011 postseason struggles were a result of one of those periods of ineffectiveness.

Those postseason numbers were:

3 GS, 0-3 record, 9.2 IP, 17 H, 16 R (all earned), 14.90 ERA, 5 BB, 5 K, 3 HR, 2.28 WHIP

Yikes.

I’m no pro scout or manager or baseball coach, but my educated eye saw some things that just lended themselves to the idea that Marcum was worn down. It wasn’t like the if the season lasted another two months that Marcum was going to pull out of that funk along the way.

His innings total (200.2) in just the regular season was the highest of his career. He had pitched through a couple of injuries during the regular season, not to mention the shoulder stiffness that he opened the spring with. The aforementioned hip injury was bad enough, but exactly one month late, on July 17, during a spectacular defensive play on a ball bunted to his right, Marcum bounded off the mound and spun while underhanding a throw to first base. That resulted in an official neck strain and likely an unofficial sore shoulder.

All of those things added up to a pitcher being put through a lot over 33 starts. To me, all signs pointed to physical exhaustion which coupled with a resultant mental exhaustion in the playoffs leading to the results on the field which we all remember far too vividly.

Much of that will fade with time, helped especially by Opening Day which of course is 18 days away from the day I’m writing this.

What will really help Brewers fans get over it, though, would be a duplication of last year’s early success out of Marcum.

As of this writing, that’s currently in mild jeopardy as Marcum has not yet appeared in a Cactus League game. There is still enough time to get him a handful of starts, but he needs to be to a certain pitch-count-based level of endurance before being ready to pitch in a regular season game.

That notwithstanding, the path in 2012 for the 6’0”, 195 pound, 30-year-old right-hander from Kansas City, Missouri is a relatively clear one. When healthy, be that on Opening Day or shortly at a point thereafter, he’ll be in the starting rotation. He’ll look to make 30+ starts and help lead the Milwaukee Brewers on a successful defense of their National League Central Division title, complete with a return trip to the postseason. It’s just that when Marcum last takes the mound in 2012, he’ll be anticipating much different results.

Let’s hope that by then, as fans, we’ll be able to anticipate a positive outcome as well instead of being haunted by the memories of opportunities squandered.

You Don’t Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression

…and in Felipe Lopez’ case, who needs one?

By: Big Rygg

Good Lord does Mike Burns need the Dave Bush treatment from a couple of seasons ago under nervous Ned Yost.

Of course I’m kidding, but let’s call a spade a spade here. Burns’ home/road splits are damn near comical at this point. Check out these stat lines as a starter:

3 Starts: 2-1, 4.67 ERA, 17.1 IP, 14 H, 9 ER, 4 HR, 4 BB, 12 K

2 Starts: 0-2, 12.91 ERA, 7.2 IP, 15 H, 13 R, 11 ER, 3 HR, 3 BB, 6 K

Look, it’s not like I’m saying that his numbers at Miller Park are awesome, but he did beat Johan Santana there and also threw a game with 7 Ks and no BBs.

I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

Let’s move on though, shall we?

Felipe Lopez did not disappoint. Bringing some much needed honor back to uniform number 3, all Lopez did in his Brewer debut was drop a 4-for-4 night tacking on a walk, scoring a run and looking like an incredibly smart pick up by Doug Melvin…well, for the most part anyway. He did muff a throw from Hardy (to be fair, the throw was a bit high) in the 8th inning which allowed Jeff Karstens to score after he had been plunked earlier in the inning. Regardless of that fact, however, he was stellar at the plate which is exactly what he needed to be on this night.

Quite obviously, Lopez is going to make some outs from time to time, don’t kind yourself. But in a reactionary world, one in which some were questioning the decision to trade for Lopez, it was a nice display to say the least.

Unfortunately for the Brewers, Lopez big night wasn’t enough as there were a combined 3 errors by Brewer fielders (the others being given to Prince Fielder and Craig Counsell respectively) that led to the Pittsburgh Pirates finally snapping the 17-game losing streak against the Brewers that they had been enduring for quite some time.

But, all streaks come to an end eventually. The important thing is that we come out tomorrow with renewed vigor and determination to start another winning streak against the Bucs. After all, Braden Looper is on the hill and every Brewer fan should know the kind of run support he’s been getting.

Let’s get to it tomorrow night!

Picking Up Where We Left Off

By: Big Rygg

The Brewers are finally back at home after starting the
season by playing 12 of their first 18 games on the road. Perhaps a little
surprisingly, the Brewers are 6-6 in those 12 games but only 2-4 at home during
that same stretch.

There is no way that anyone can deny that the Brewers
started playing their best baseball of the season on this road trip so
hopefully the first six (unfortunately all against NL Central competition) will
be the aberration.

Well, the Brewers are looking to prove that to be the case
and got off on the right foot toward that effort last night. The visiting
Pittsburgh Pirates came into Miller
Park sporting the best
staff ERA in all of baseball at a nifty 2.97 (which helps explain the 11-7
record they brought to town with them). By the time the first night of the
three-game series was over, however, that team ERA had jumped to 3.36 courtesy
of the 10 runs the Brewers put on the board over 8 innings (an 11.25 game ERA,
for those of you keeping score at home).

looper04272009.jpg

Braden Looper (2-0, 2.45 ERA) didn’t get the win in this one, but pitches well enough to have. While he didn’t produce another quality start in this one, his 101-pitch effort over 5.0 innings saw him leave with a 5-3 lead in the ball game. Only two of those runs against him were earned as well. Tough luck on the no-decision, but another solid if not spectacular outing from Loop.

Pittsburgh starter Jeff Karstens (1-0, 5.40 ERA) was spared
the blemish in his Loss column when his team rallied for two runs in the top of
the 8th inning off of Milwaukee reliever Carlos Villanueva, but his
personal ERA absorbed a 9.00 for the game which sent his figure up nearly a
full point from 4.50 to the resultant 5.40.

Something that won’t show up in his box score has the hit
that Karstens threw in the 3rd inning. That hit came when the first
pitch of an at-bat drilled Ryan Braun squarely in his back. When asked later if
he thought Karstens threw at him intentionally, Braun admitted that Karstens
probably had. The umpires immediately warned both benches after the HBP which
naturally drew the ire of Brewer Manager Ken Macha. I think the umpires
realized that there was a full three-game set to get through still so he was
trying to nip it in the bud because it was Game 1. As Braun alluded to,
however, even if another ball isn’t thrown inside the batter’s box all series,
the teams do play 11 more times this year after Pittsburgh leaves town on Wednesday
afternoon. This isn’t the type of thing that gets forgotten about, even if the
revenge isn’t immediate.

Otherwise, at the dish, the Brewers performed very well all
night long. They were consistently taking balls the other way, and the results
showed on the scoreboard. Rickie Weeks produced a lot of offense despite only getting one hit in the game. That one hit was a three-run home run, but Rickie drove in a total of four and scored twice.

capt.e64cdd872a3c4dba874a89b573137857.pirates_brewers_baseball_widh106.jpg

Yes, the team hit three home runs in the game (all coming
with two outs in their respective innings, which is a good sign) that resulted
in five of their runs, but all five of the runs in the key 8th inning
came via alternative methods. It also showed the resiliency of the team to not
get down on itself after Freddy Sanchez’ two-out two-RBI two-bagger tied the ballgame.
The team came right back in the bottom of the frame to put the game out of
reach and allow for…

TREVOR TIME AT MILLER
PARK!

For the first time all year, Trevor Hoffman entered Miller Park
as a member of the 25-man active roster. He began warming up in the 8th
and, according to Macha, would have pitched the 9th inning whether the
Brewers had taken the lead or not.

(SIDE NOTE: In a classy move, Fox Sports Network stayed with
the game during Hoffman’s entrance and subsequent warm up tosses from the
mound. Very nice that they realized the significance of that moment for fans
that weren’t able to make it to the game last night. Whoever produced that game
last night…kudos.)

(SIDE SIDE NOTE: What the hell do we call our station? It
used to be FSN North, and I totally supported and understood the change to FSN
Wisconsin. Then it became FS Wisconsin and now, during Brewer games, it is
displayed on screen as FSBrewers. Anybody have any thoughts on that one?)

Anyway, in what was a non-save situation since the Brewers
opened the lead up to five runs the previous inning; Hoffman entered and shut
down the Pirates with a perfect 9th inning. The first of many games
that end in a victory for the Brewers with Hoffman on the mound is in the
books. It not only extended the Brewers winning streak against the Pirates to
13, but also increased the streak of Pirate futility at Miller Park
to 16 losses in a row.

Here’s hoping we add 14 and 15 (and thereby 17 and 18) to
the ledger this week.

One For Their Last One

By: Big Rygg

For all of the talk about the last several games played at Citizens Bank Ballpark by the Milwaukeee Brewers, things have changed..

No longer have the Brewers lost their last seven games in a row in Philadelphia (including playoffs). No longer is the last Brewer win in the city of brotherly love May 17, 2007. No longer have we only one won game in our last 11 at Philadelphia.

The script, as they say, has flipped.

Could this be related to the comments Ryan Braun made to the media after yesterday’s mess of a game? Perhaps. More likely, though, it was directly related to the change that Manager Ken Macha made by flip-flopping J.J. Hardy and Mike Cameron in the lineup. Cameron has been red hot and came through with a two-RBI hit that pushed our lead to 3-0 at the time. Hardy also had a pair of hits (including a solo home run) and was on base three times. Necessary move by Macha and very nice that he actually made that move. Does anyone reading this honestly believe that move gets made last year?

A few notes on the pitching from this one:

First, good start by Braden Looper. 107 pitches, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 0 R. It would have been very nice to see him get into the 7th inning. But the guy did his work in this one. The biggest gripe is that with no strikeouts and no runs scoring, you’d think 107 pitches would get you a bit deeper.

Second, the bullpen picked up Looper for his second win of the season by twirling 3 innings of relief. Mark DiFelice still carries a 0.00 ERA, Carlos Villanueva actually held a team scoreless in an appearance (despite falling behind hitters again) and although Todd Coffey made it interesting in the 9th, he still recorded his second save in as many appearances by working the 9th inning (including a strike out of Ryan Howard).

The downstream affects of this game?

First, we have the chance to win a series. Albeit a small chance if Cole Hamels remembers how to pitch by tomorrow afternoon, but a chance. You can’t win three-game series with a win in game 3 if you lose games 1 & 2. That math doesn’t work.

Second, it appears that we’ve found our 8th inning guy once Hoffman returns from the disabled list. Coffey is getting it done by using a simple philosophy: Make them hit the ball to beat you.

Third, shutouts breed confidence. Granted, we did give up the one run in the 9th, but the shutouts I’m talking about are Looper’s, DiFelice’s and (most importantly) Villanueva’s. Great news for those guys, especially against the offensive lineup of this Philly team.

So, we move on to tomorrow. Dave Bush is on the bump against Hamels.

…with a chance at a series victory.

Yes, baby steps, but steps in the right direction for a change!