When Shaun Marcum pitches tonight, looking to sweep the Diamondbacks and give Milwaukee its first playoff series win since 1982, he'll face a rookie righty who bears a striking resemblance to himself. Marcum and Josh Collmenter posted nearly identical fielding-independent ERAs during the regular season (3.74 and 3.80, respectively) by limiting walks and shutting down right-handed hitters. While neither guy pushes a pitch past 90 on the radar gun, they keep hitters guessing by hitting just about every velocity range from the mid-60s to the high-80s.
Marcum and Collmenter both average around 87 mph with their fastballs, which ranks in the third percentile among all major league pitchers. With little hop on the pitch, neither uses his fastball much (37 percent for Marcum, 33 percent for Collmenter). However, Marcum and Collmenter have deep arsenals with a wide range of velocity:
Marcum changes speeds more when it comes to the percentage of pitches thrown in each velocity range. He really mixes it up, while Collmenter is apt to sit in either the high-70s or high-80s while occasionally tossing really slow stuff:
The slow, slower, slowest approach has worked splendidly for both pitchers against right-handers. Marcum has held righties to a .195/.243/.323 triple-slash, while Collmenter has limited same-handed batters to a .225/.250/.344 line. Lefties have been more of a challenge (.271/.327/.423 for Marcum, .250/.304/.404 for Collmenter), though neither has been roughed up too badly. Keep an eye on the radar gun tonight -- neither guy will light it up, but they'll add and subtract with the best of them.