Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Shaun Marcum adjusts his cap after giving up a three run home run to St. Louis Cardinals David Freese in the 1st inning of Game 6 of the MLB NLCS baseball playoffs in Milwaukee

Yeah, Shaun Marcum was awful, but let’s not kill Ron Roenicke for it

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My first impulse after Shaun Marcum’s Game 2 four inning, five run performance was that he shouldn’t be allowed to start another playoff game this year.  Then, after thinking it over and looking up and down that Brewers roster, I came around to Ron Roenicke’s way of thinking: who the hell else could he pitch if not Marcum?

The answer that most people came back with was Chris Narveson, who had an ERA nearly a full run higher than Marcum’s in the regular season, walked more guys and allowed more hits than Marcum did.  Sure, Marcum has been pitching terribly and it didn’t seem like a good bet that he’d turn it around, but Narveson hadn’t been getting anyone out in the postseason either.  When left with two unpalatable choices, don’t you go with the guy who, if he remembers who he is, is capable of pitching the better game?

That’s what Roenicke did anyway, and it obviously didn’t work.  Marcum got destroyed and the game was all but over before it began.  But let’s not lose sight of the fact that after Marcum’s four-run, one-inning performance, Narveson came in and have up five runs in an inning and two-thirds.

So yes, you can be angry at the fact that Roenicke started Marcum if you’d like, but please, tell us all what the better course would have been.

Hisashi Iwakuma’s 2017 option vests, but salary still undetermined

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 13: Hisashi Iwakuma #18 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the third inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 13, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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With last Wednesday’s start against the Yankees, Mariners hurler Hisashi Iwakuma pushed his 2016 innings total up to 2016. That clears the 162-inning hurdle for his 2017 option to vest at $14 million. However, as Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reports, the language in Iwakuma’s contract also stipulates that the right-hander finish the season without suffering a specific injury.

Iwakuma, 35, was in agreement with the Dodgers on a three-year contract back in December but failed the physical, which nullified the deal. He ended up signing with the Mariners on a one-year, $12 million deal with a full no-trade clause and club options for 2017 and ’18 that vest at specific inning thresholds (162 each or 324 for both seasons).

This season, Iwakuma has stayed healthy, making 26 starts to the tune of a 14-9 record, a 3.81 ERA and a 118/36 K/BB ratio in 163 innings.

Ichiro Suzuki passes Wade Boggs for 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 28: Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Miami Marlins grounds out during the 2nd inning against the San Diego Padres at Marlins Park on August 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Eric Espada/Getty Images
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Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki deposited a single to left-center field in the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against the Mets, then added a double to center field in the eighth. Those mark hits No. 3,010 and 3,011 for Suzuki in his major league career, tying and then moving past Wade Boggs for sole possession of 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list.

Suzuki would come around to score on a double by Xavier Scruggs to break a scoreless tie in the eighth.

Here’s the video of Ichiro’s first hit.

By the end of the season, Suzuki will have presumably moved ahead of Rafael Palmeiro (26th; 3,020) and Lou Brock (25th; 3,023).

Suzuki was 2-for-4 after the double. With baseball’s fifth month nearly complete, the 42-year-old is currently batting .298/.371/.373.