I'm not calling him that. But, as a service, I thought I'd remind everyone that this is the proper mock nickname for Jason Marquis haters.
And if Nationals fans were looking for a reason not to like him, Marquis wasted no time giving us plenty. In his first inning as a National, he walked three, hit one, and threw a wild pitch that allowed a run to score from third. Whew! Our crack stats team says that they have no idea how many pitchers have managed that feat in their first inning pitching for a new team, but that they all were very very bad.
Ugh. Yes, it was just one game. Marquis may still be the perfectly below average ERA, 200-IP pitcher we're paying for. Still, the whole reason Marquis is here is to save the bullpen, keep your team in the game--especially at times like this when they need a stabilizing force. So immediately upon taking on this role, he comes out and sucks whatever wind the team may have had in its sails.
This is why you good teams don't count on pitchers like this as #2 starters. He's the kind of pitcher you want to slide in as your #4, and hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst. He doesn't strike anyone out, and his command isn't particularly exceptional. Yes, he gets a lot of groundballs, but he gives up a lot of line-drives as well. And if he sees any jump at all in his walk rate, he could go from an admirable role-player on a staff to mop-up fodder fast.
The Nationals desperately need to avoid another embarrassing season-opening skid, but at this point they're just nowhere near competitive. And Garrett Mock still hasn't pitched yet!
Still, tomorrow's another day, Kyle Kendrick is as hittable as they come, and Craig Stammen can theoretically pitch well. It sounds silly to say it, but to avoid the creeping sense of deja vu and avoid making fans start talking about the #1 draft pick before Memorial Day (again), they really could use a win tomorrow.