The Cardinals will go for a season-opening three-game sweep of the Phillies,
behind the arm of Jason Marquis, when the teams play a getaway day game at
Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
Jason Marquis looks to pick up where he left off at the end of last season as
he makes his 2006 debut. Marquis went 4-1 with a 2.30 ERA in his final seven
starts of 2005.
This spring Marquis was very impressive, putting up a 1.96 ERA with 14
strikeouts and only six walks in 23 innings. My take is, this will be Marquis
best major league career season to date.
During spring training, the recently retired, former St. Louis Cardinal
pitcher, Cal Eldred was in camp working with Marquis on his cutter. In addition
he’s been putting in a lot of time working on his change up.
If he's able to master the cutter and throw the change consistently, it will
help throw hitters off the two-seam sinking fastball that is his out pitch.
From an article at MLB.com, Marquis is quoted as saying, "The last [few
spring starts], my mechanics, my delivery, my rhythm have been real good,"
Marquis said in late March. "I've been able to do a lot of things. I'm able to
get the ball down in the zone and work everything off of that."
When I spoke to Cal Eldred, he said, “Marquis stuff is so good, any of his pitches could be an
out pitch, depending on the situation and how the batter has been set up.”
Baseball fans from around the nation will be checking in on today’s game as
the Phillies shortstop, Jimmy Rollins looks to extend his hitting streak to 39
Rollins went 2-for-4 with two doubles Wednesday to extend his streak to 38
games after going 1-for-4 in Monday’s 13-5 defeat. Rollins is chasing legendary,
Hall of Famer, the Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio’s major league record of 56
Marquis posted a 13-14 record last season, battling an up and down year in
which he posted a career season high with 207.0 IP. He was 0-1 vs. the Phillies
last season, lasting just 4.0 IP in a 7-4 loss, on May 19th at Philadelphia. In
seven career starts, Marquis holds a 2-2 mark with one save, 4.62 ERA in 14
The subject of a lot of trade rumors this winter, Jason finally, (through no
fault of his own) signed a one-year, $5.15 million contract on January 17, 2006
and can earn an additional $275,000 in performance bonuses: $25,000 for 200
innings, $75,000 each for 210 and 215 innings and $100,000 for 220 innings. The
deal also includes a $50,000 award bonus should Marquis repeat as the NL Silver
Slugger winner at his position.
Jason was acquired from the Atlanta Braves with pitchers Ray King and Adam Wainwright in exchange for outfielders J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero on December 13,
2003, in what can be described as one of the best deals ever made by the
Cardinals GM & Vice-President, Walt Jocketty.
Today’s game will be televised on FSN Midwest and starts at 2:05 pm, CDT.
Friday: Cardinals (Jeff Suppan, 16-10, 3.57 in 2005) at Cubs (Greg Maddux,
13-15, 4.24 in 2005), 1:20 p.m. CDT (Cubs home opener)
Saturday: Cardinals (Chris Carpenter, 1-0, 7.20) at Cubs (Carlos Zambrano,
0-0, 9.64), 1:20 p.m. CDT
Saturday: Cardinals (Sidney Ponson, 7-11, 6.22 in 2005) at Cubs (Sean Marshall -- Major League debut), 1:20 p.m. CCT