Brewers right-hander Shaun Marcum is well aware of what’s at stake in Sunday night’s NLCS Game 6 against the Cardinals. He never made it to the postseason during his five years with the Blue Jays and has struggled mightily in his first two October outings for Milwaukee. The guy needs to rebound.
“It’s exciting,” Marcum told ESPN’s Amy K. Nelson after a light team workout on Saturday afternoon. “It’s definitely the biggest game of my career.”
Marcum allowed seven earned runs in just 4 2/3 innings during a start against the Diamondbacks in the NLDS and surrendered five earned runs in just four innings in Game 2 of the NLCS against St. Louis. For the postseason, he’s sporting a 12.46 ERA.
But Marcum told Nelson that he’s “used to getting beat up” from his days in the American League East and believes he has an altered game plan that will help him find success Sunday night at Miller Park. It’s about locating first with his fastball, then changing speeds on the Cardinals’ hot-hitting lineup.
“I feel great, actually,” Marcum said Saturday. “Arm feels good, body feels good. It’s just matter of going out there and locating and keeping the ball down, throwing strikes to stay ahead of the hitters.”
First pitch is scheduled for just after 8:00 p.m. ET on TBS. Craig will be hosting a live chat here on HBT.
On Friday, Athletics teammates Billy Butler and Danny Valencia were involved in a clubhouse altercation that started when Butler told an equipment representative that Valencia was wearing off-brand spikes during games. Valencia didn’t like Butler’s interference, potentially costing him an endorsement deal, so he punched Butler in the temple, causing a concussion.
Neither player had said much to the media about the incident, but Butler finally addressed the issue on Wednesday. MLB.com’s Mark Chiarelli reported Butler’s comments:
“This was something that could’ve been prevented on both sides,” Butler said. “We had equal faults in this. I definitely said some things that you shouldn’t have. I definitely stepped in an area where it wasn’t my business.”
“By no means do I think his intentions were to give me a concussion,” Butler said. “This is me addressing my faults and what I took away from the team.”
“To say that we’re enemies is not right,” Butler said. “To blame this all on one side is not right either.”
Butler also apologized to his teammates. “I would like to apologize for putting [my teammates] through this because they didn’t deserve this. This was an issue between me and Danny. To be fair for them, they didn’t deserve this. The coaching staff didn’t deserve this. The organization didn’t deserve this,” he said.
Butler is making progress in his recovery from his concussion. He’ll travel with the team to St. Louis to open up a three-game series against the Cardinals starting on Friday. If he passes his concussion protocol test, the Athletics will put him back on the active roster from the seven-day concussion disabled list.
WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval has lost 22 pounds during his rehabilitation after undergoing shoulder surgery in early May. Weight has been the top subject of conversation regarding Sandoval ever since he showed up to spring training and an unflattering photograph was published by the Boston Globe.
Sandoval had a miserable spring training, batting .204 in 49 at-bats and lost out on the starting third base job to Travis Shaw. He went hitless in seven regular season plate appearances before landing on the disabled list with a sprained left shoulder, which ultimately required reconstructive surgery.
Sandoval is still under contract through at least 2019, earning $17 million next season, and $18 million in ’18 and ’19. His controlling club has a $17 million option with a $5 million buyout for 2020 as well. It’s hard to see Sandoval fitting into his current club’s future plans, but it will be tough for the Red Sox to get rid of him without eating a significant portion of his remaining contract.