Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 10/10/11
As Shaun Marcum takes the mound for Game 2 of the NLCS against Milwaukee tonight, the shadow of a 4.2 inning, seven run implosion against Arizona in Game 3 of the NLDS will loom large. But Marcum’s first playoff start is the only recent negative for the right-handed changeup specialist: Marcum has only put together two solid outings since the calendar flipped to September. After hanging seven innings of shutout, one-hit ball against the Astros on September 4th, Marcum has made five starts (including the playoff outing) for a total of 29 innings, 25 earned runs (a 7.76) ERA, a rough 18-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and six home runs. The playoff start puts the 29-year-old’s innings total for the year at 205.1, a career high, just over the 195.1 he posted coming off Tommy John surgery last season. With Marcum, never a picture of durability, we must ask: Are these struggles just the struggles pitchers work through over long seasons, or is he burnt out after the longest season of his career?
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