Shaun Marcum shaky in 2013 debut

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Shaun Marcum, fully recovered from a neck injury, made his debut both for the 2013 season and as a Met this afternoon in Queens against the Phillies, but it didn’t go quite as well as he had hoped. The right-hander allowed three runs in the third inning, including allowing a lead-off single to opposing pitcher Jonathan Pettibone, and he uncorked a wild pitch facing Michael Young as well. Manager Terry Collins lifted him after four innings in favor of lefty Robert Carson, who promptly allowed five runs in the fifth.

Speaking to the media after the game, Marcum wasn’t satisfied with his outing. Via ESPN’s Adam Rubin:

“It’s not what I wanted from a statistical standpoint or helping this team,” Marcum said after surrendering three runs on five hits and two walks in a 71-pitch effort over four innings. “I wasn’t very efficient with my pitches there in the second and third inning. My pitch count rose pretty quickly in those two innings.

“As far as health, everything felt pretty good.”

Marcum is a welcome addition to the Mets’ rotation as Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner have struggled in their first handful of starts, posting a 5.96 and 5.14 ERA, respectively.

Ken Giles: ‘I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston’

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Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”

Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”

Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.