Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 10/9/11
MILWAUKEE -- Again and again in 2011 the Milwaukee Brewers have espoused a "short memory" approach, to both their successes and their failures. They'll do the same Monday when they try to take a 2-0 series lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL championship series. First, they'll have to tuck away their 9-6 win in Game 1 on Sunday, something they've shown they're quite capable of this season. Then the approach falls to Shaun Marcum, who allowed seven runs in 4 23 innings to take a loss in his last start, Game 3 of the NL division series. "I definitely put the last one away," Marcum said. "That's not one you want to remember. It was pretty easy to put that one away." That outing was the fourth time in five starts that Marcum allowed five or more runs, leaving many wondering what had happened to the pitcher who posted a 2.95 ERA in August. Some suggested injury, others fatigue, but Marcum said he feels fine. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke didn't have the answers either, speaking before Game 1 on Sunday, but defended Marcum's bad outings as a product of some tough breaks. "I don't think the last (few) games were as bad as what people think they are," Roenicke said. "It's been a bad pitch that's been a three-run homer or grand slam, but I don't think it's been as bad as -- if you look at all the hits that he's given up, there are more cheap hits given up from him than anybody else. "It's not like they're just driving balls all over the ballpark. That is not happening." Marcum's start in Phoenix was the first time he allowed more than three runs in a road start since June 29. In 2011, Marcum owned baseball's best road ERA (2.21), but he isn't concerned about the location of his start in Milwaukee on Monday. "Like I've said before, you go through stretches and go through years where you have better road numbers and not-so-good home numbers," Marcum said. "But this is a new season right now. It's the postseason; we have to put the past behind us and come out tomorrow ready to go." The Cardinals counter Marcum with mid-season addition Edwin Jackson, who has produced quality starts eight of his last nine times out. They're certainly hoping he can manage an effort better than Jaime Garcia's four-inning, six-run outing Sunday. Key recently for Jackson -- and Marcum for that matter -- has been holding off opponents early. In his start in Game 4 of the NLDS, Jackson allowed two runs on three hits in the first inning before settling down and throwing five scoreless innings and allowing just two hits in a St. Louis win. "You see with most pitchers if you don't get them early you don't have a chance to get them," Jackson said Sunday. "It's not necessarily just myself. I think that's the case for pitchers around the league. "Most of the time, the early innings is where most of the damage happens." Even with a hot hand on the mound though, it's hard to imagine the Brewers are worried about producing offensively after a nine-run effort Sunday that included home runs from Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, and Yuniesky Betancourt. "We've just got to be ready for his mistakes," Fielder said. "That's my game plan. Just make sure I get a good look at it and hit it hard. I don't really get too serious about (strategy), because then I get confused. My thing is just to see it and hit it." Conversely, it's hard to be discouraged by a six-run effort and if the Cardinals can produce a similar output Monday, they'll have a pretty good shot at evening the series before heading to St. Louis. "I thought we competed on the offensive side great all night," La Russa said after Sunday's game. "I wish we could average six runs the rest of the series."
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