By Jaymes Langrehr Special to Published Oct 16, 2011 at 9:25 AM

If a sharp, crisp Game 4 restored hope for Brewers fans in the NLCS, it's probably safe to say Game 5 put them back into a state of panic.

Many will point toward the team's four errors when talking about the Game 5 loss, but Zack Greinke wasn't very good, either. To his credit, he said as much after the game when he easily could have thrown Yuniesky Betancourt, Rickie Weeks, and Jerry Hairston (and maybe even Corey Hart) under the bus. Nobody would have blamed him.

Not only did Greinke fail to record a strikeout in 5.2 innings -- the longest he's ever made it into a game without notching a K -- but he only managed to get the Cardinals to swing-and-miss twice the entire game, and those didn't even come until the last couple innings he threw on Friday night. That's unusual for any pitcher that struck out 200 batters over the course of the regular season. For Greinke, who always managed to rack up the strikeout numbers even when he was struggling, it's even more unusual.

Only twice this year has Greinke generated less whiffs in a start. The first probably isn't that hard to guess: the disaster outing in the Bronx against the Yankees, when he failed to record a strikeout in a 2+ inning start. There wasn't a single Yankee that swung and missed against him in those 15 plate appearances.

The only other start in which Greinke had a harder time getting batters to chase? The season finale against Pittsburgh, when he threw 74 pitches on short rest and only one Buc whiffed. Greinke got the win in that start after allowing two runs on five hits, but he only struck out four. Like his Game 5 start, the results that weren't all that bad, but something wasn't quite right.

For whatever reason, Pittsburgh was a team that seemed to lock onto Greinke well this season. They roughed him up for 7 runs on August 22nd, and were able to chase him after just 5 innings on May 15 after batting around. St. Louis is another team that hasn't had much of a problem hitting Greinke.

In Game 1 of the NLCS, the Cardinals swung and missed eight times against Greinke, which is tied for the 6th-fewest swinging strikes Greinke recorded in a single start this year. The last time they saw him in the regular season -- a 2-0 pitching duel that Chris Carpenter won on September 7 -- they only swung and missed six times against Greinke. On August 1, the Cardinals again only swung and missed eight times.

The Cardinals having the best offense in the National League certainly plays a role. For the most part, they're not going to get themselves out. Greinke's stuff also hasn't been up to par against the Cards this year, though, and they've had no trouble laying off pitches that aren't in the strike zone and punishing pitches that are.

That would probably be why most aren't thrilled with the idea of Shaun Marcum -- someone who needs to have batters chase -- pitching with the season on the line in Game 6. While things don't look good right now, stranger things have happened in this series than Marcum throwing five or six quality innings on Sunday. 

This entire postseason has been filled with improbabilities, so why not add one more to the list? With their success at home, if any team can pull off the improbable, it's the Brewers. Just hope they don't try to win two games at once on Sunday.

Jaymes Langrehr Special to

Jaymes grew up in Western Wisconsin surrounded by Cubs fans, so it's a minor miracle he escaped childhood unscathed. He's blogged about baseball and the Brewers for the past three years in various corners of the Internet, with only a fraction of that time spent in his mother's house.

Aside from burying himself up to the neck in Brewers numbers, Jaymes is a bit of a news industry junkie. He graduated from Hofstra University in New York with a degree in broadcast journalism, but as you can see, he has a face for Internet blogging.

When he isn't writing/tweeting about the Brewers, he's likely making mildly inappropriate comments about current events or complaining about Hofstra cutting its football program.