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Can Shaun Marcum Get Some Respect

With all
the buzz centering around Cliff Lee and his resurgence year and Brandon Webb
winning eight straight games, it seems to me that Toronto Blue Jays starter
Shaun Marcum is not getting the respect he deserves.

Now I’m not
taking anything away from Lee or Webb because they are both having brilliant
seasons thus far, I would just like to see Marcum get a little more credit for
the numbers he has put together over his first eight starts of 2008. Of the
eight, seven of them have been quality starts, which is tied for second in the

understand that Marcum’s 4-2 record isn’t overly impressive, but he’s doing his
part. His offense just can’t score runs for him, as he’s only receiving about 2.8
runs of support every time he steps on the mound. That is almost half as much
as the 5.4 that Webb gets and just about a full run below what Lee gets (3.7).
Even the great ESPN baseball analyst Eric Young should be smart enough to
realize that this kind of run support is utterly atrocious and it must be in
the back of Marcum’s mind whenever he goes out to pitch.

That being
said, if the Blue Jays could score more runs for Marcum he might be 8-0 right
now and one of the front runners to start this year’s All-Star game for the
American League.

So just how
good has Marcum been this year? Well considering that he went undrafted in most
fantasy leagues and is now ranked 10th overall in Yahoo! fantasy
games and 13th in ESPN leagues I would say he’s doing pretty well.
Going into Monday, Marcum had a sparkling 2.22 era, 49 k’s in 56.2 innings,
only 16 walks and a whip of 0.81. He’s also averaging 7.78 K/9 to just 2.54
BB/9, while opponents OBP is just .216.

After starting the season with
back-to-back seven innings pitched-eight strikeout performances, where he
somehow only managed to go 1-1, (thanks to Frank Thomas and company) Marcum has
not allowed more than four runs in any start. Of his eight starts, Marcum has
allowed two runs or less in six of them and is averaging over seven innings
pitched per start. The scary thing is; he’s only getting stronger.

In his
three May starts, Marcum has gone 2-0, logging 23 k’s in 23.1 innings and
allowing just two earned runs and four walks total.

understand that Marcum will not keep this kind of pace up for an entire season,
especially in the unforgiving AL, but I would expect at least 15 wins, an era
below 3.50, a whip of around 1.10, 200+ innings pitched and 180+ strikeouts.
Not bad for a pitcher who was ranked below 300 in most fantasy leagues entering
the season and is the No. 4 starter on his own team.

He showed total dominance of the
Cleveland Indians in his last start on May 12th, where Marcum and
Lee went against each other and put on a pitching clinic. Neither pitcher allowed
a run or got the win, but both impressed. Marcum puzzled the Indians, going
eight innings and allowing just two hits, with no walks and five k’s.

After the game though, Cliff Lee
got all the headlines even though his team lost in extra innings. Yes he
pitched an excellent game, but Marcum pitched better and no one said much of
anything about it.

Maybe Marcum should just throw a
no-hitter next time out. Hopefully he’ll get some credit for that kind of

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