Brewers face must-win against Cardinals in NLCS

St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina (left) reacts after Milwaukee's Ryan Braun strikes out on Friday. The Cardinals are one victory away from advancing to the World Series.

MILWAUKEE — Shaun Marcum thinks people really want to see two aces face off in Game 7 with the NL pennant on the line. He can go a long way to forcing that matchup with a strong effort today.


Marcum will get the ball for Milwaukee when it faces Edwin Jackson and St. Louis in the National League Championship Series, with the Brewers trailing 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. If the Brewers win, Yovani Gallardo would pitch against Chris Carpenter on Monday night.

“I think I’m on the bandwagon with everybody in here, probably everybody in the country that wants to see Yo versus Carp in Game 7,” Marcum said. “I’m going to try to get the ball to Yo.”

This series has been more about what comes next on the mound.

St. Louis has taken the lead in every game of the series and the Cardinals bullpen is 2-0 with a 1.66 ERA in 21⅔ innings over the first five games. Manager Tony La Russa has made 23 pitching changes using all eight of his relievers..

“Edwin’s going to decide how far he goes,” La Russa said. “It depends on how he’s pitching. I don’t go in thinking let’s get 5⅓ from him. I don’t think anything. I just watch the game.”

Milwaukee set a franchise-record with 96 wins this season, six more than the Cardinals, but the NL Central champions are on the brink of elimination because starters have stumbled.

No one has been worse than Marcum, who has given up 30 runs in his last 33 innings dating to September.

He allowed five runs in four innings in a 12-3 loss in Game 2 and is 0-2 with a 12.46 ERA in the postseason.



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