Thursday, April 8, 2010

Marquis de Suck

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.


John O'Connor said...

This may seem simplistic, but the problem is that, for two games, the Phillies have trotted out (1) the better lineup, (2) the better starting pitcher, and (3) the better bullpen. I wonder what a team's winning percentage is when you can say before the game starts that the other team is objectively better in all three areas. Maybe 20% win rate?

Today, I wouldn't say that the Phillies' starting pitcher is necessarily better than the Nats'. So maybe there's hope.

hleeo3 said...

Do you think McCatty would have anything to do with this? We got all these pitchers in the offseason and while I wasn't expecting any drastic improvements. I was hoping a little more out of Lannan and Marquis. Maybe 5 serviceable innings where they give up maybe 4 runs each against the NL Champs. I noticed that Marquis's pitches had a lot of movement and avoided the strike zone so we could just say it wasn't his day.

On the bright side of things, I am quite happy with an upgraded bullpen, with the exception of Batista.

John O'Connor said...

Langerhans DFA. Wouldn't he be the third-best outfielder on the Nats? Just saying . . .

JBJ said...


Relax dude. You think anyone will be shocked by a Phillies sweep of the Nats? I fully expect us, even if we are improved, to win five games all year that we play them. Sorry, just the reality. If the Nats are credible and improved they will have the opportunity to prove it this year. They don't need to win tomorrow, they just need to win a little bit this year. Don't be so shortsighted. It's 2 games so far in April.

Even if you bury yourself in an 0-7 hole, its not unbearable if you already expect to finish in last place. Almost everyone predicts that scenario. Even in an 0-7 hole they could easily produce a 72 win season, which is about what I expect. Which is still improved. GIve the guy time to take out the garbage of the Jim Bowden regime and restore credible people throughout the organization. It doesn't happen overnight.

Steven said...

I'm not expecting overnight, and I'm totally and completely relaxed.