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Jason Marquis against the Phillies

The Nationals signed Jason Marquis to give the starting rotation a measure of stability, and they could use some stabilizing. No matter what happens tonight at Nationals Park, win by 10 or lose by 10, it's not like it'll make or break the Nationals' season. That being said, it would make a nice statement if the Nationals' premier free agent pitching acquisition produced an effective debut. The Nats could use a good taste in their mouth about something.

Marquis has pitched well against the Phillies in recent history. Since 2007, Marquis is 2-0 with a 3.50 ERA against the Phillies. He's been particularly good in his career against some of Philadelphia key cogs. Against Marquis ...

-Jimmy Rollins is 3 for 34 with five strikeouts.

-Ryan Howard is 2 for 10 (both singles) with five walks.

-Placido Polanco -- he of four hits and six RBIs on opening day -- is 0 for 10.

-Raul Ibanez is 1 for 6 with a double.

The problems for Marquis are Chase Utley and especially Jayson Werth. Utley is 8 for 18 with seven singles and double against Marquis. Werth is 6 for 9 with two doubles and two home runs. I know it's just 11 plate appearances, but Werth's OPS against Marquis is 2.306. I mean, seriously.

* * *
I wanted to offer a well-deserved shout-out to my predecessor and good friend Chico Harlan. Yesterday, we learned Chico had won first place for game stories in the Associated Press Sports Editors writing contest. He won for the story he wrote on the final game of last season. It begins:

Unwatchable at the beginning, unbeatable at the end, unorthodox without interruption, the 2009 Washington Nationals finished their poorest season with their best effort. On Sunday, before the Nationals split for the winter, they set one final ambush on conventional expectations, turning a meaningless game into a compelling one and concluding their season with a 15-inning, 2-1 victory against the Atlanta Braves.

Omedetoo, Chico.

* * *
One very quick clarification: In the story I wrote for today's paper, I ended with a quote from Werth. A few people wondered if he was talking about the fans jeering Nationals or about the crowd in general. Werth was talking about the crowd in general, and it is obvious how it could be misconstrued that he was talking specifically about the jeering. It was unintentional, but I should have been more careful with the quote and the context.

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 7, 2010; 3:08 PM ET
 
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Next: Mike Morse is playing right, for what it's Werth

Comments

It'll be nice to see our shiny new pitcher tonight. I expect big things from him; 161-1 has to start somewhere!

Posted by: Scooter_ | April 7, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Chico's best was his going away post ... too bad that couldn't be entered?

Posted by: periculum | April 7, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

His tribute to his grandfather was also stunning.

Posted by: Section506 | April 7, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The boy could write... too bad he doesn't like baseball.

Posted by: natbiscuits | April 7, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

So after three games, Nick Johnson is 0 for 5 with the Yankees.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100406&content_id=9110464&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Of course, he has four walks and a hit by pitch.

Posted by: Section506 | April 7, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

You know the Nationals are terrible when...

...Jason Marquis is referred to as a "premier free agent." What a joke. Roy Halladay is a(or rather the) premier free agent. Marquis? Not so much!!

Seriously though, it is rather entertaining to read Dr. Kilgore's (spin doctor) article. In an attempt to optimistically paint Marquis as an a solution to the high octane Phillies' offense, he conviently omits Marquis' numbers prior to '07.

Career stats vs. PHI:

G-19 S-12 W-5 L-3 S-1 IP-78.0 Hits-76 R-41 ER-38 HR-5 BB-51 K-45 ERA-4.38 WHIP-1.63 BAA-.261

There have been worse stats vs. PHI, but Marquis is no "premier" talent.

Posted by: jworrell03 | April 7, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, he said "*the Nationals'* premier free agent"--which Pudge may take issue with, but the point is, he's not comparing him to the free agent pool.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Attaboy, Chico.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | April 7, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

make that "the Nationals' free agent pitching acquisition" -- which he is.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Which still isn't so hot.

Wow, we coulda had a Valverde!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Except Halladay wasn't a free agent ... the Phillies traded for him.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | April 7, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh, don't start injecting facts into a perfectly good diatribe.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Chico -- no matter the score, I always enjoyed reading his copy. In fact, depending on the score, often MUCH MORE than the game! I found him an excellent writer who was able to include a lot of non-game gems into the paragraphs.

Then again, it must be "creative writing" to write about last year's team and not be able to write what you "really think" about a lineup that included Kearns night after night, prayer and a thimble behind the plate after Jesus went down in May, and the first 3 months without even a glimmer of fire or willingness to try something new from the stoic manager.

Best wishes, Chico. And AK, I'm still a fan of your writing and much more proficient blog updates. keep it up - hopefully better games to watch (and report) going forward!

Posted by: mo_dc | April 7, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Pretty bad when it's April 7th and your fans could really, really use a win. Go get 'em Jason.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 7, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I thought Chico's rain delay stories were his best. Funny stuff!

Posted by: Kev29 | April 7, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

a win may be too much to hope for. Right now, I'd settle for a decent showing.

Posted by: longhorn64 | April 7, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Good to hear about Chico. He is a good writer and he made me love baseball that much more....AK is a little stiff but gets the message to us readers.

Posted by: bsballu5 | April 7, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

In angst prior to this game! It's only the SECOND GAME OF THE SEASON!? Why do I feel like my stomach is about to turn over, can the taste left in my mouth after opening day be this awful?

WHY AM I A NATS FAN!?!?! Breathe, just breathe.

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | April 7, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Mike Rizzo is on NatsXtra with Johnny and Ray right now. Should be interesting.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | April 7, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Nats first forty games against teams that had winning record's in 09,it could get ugly early,on another front does anyone know who is managing the triple A team at Syracuse?

Posted by: dargregmag | April 7, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Dar, it's Trent Jewett.
http://tinyurl.com/yguq5ho

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Tin Yurl didn't work there.
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=t_ros&cid=552&stn=true&sid=t552

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mark Lerner was just on with Charlie on 1500AM...

Let see his comments on Opening Day let me summarize ......I got the money from Phillie fans if you had bought the tickets to stop them then you would have nothing to complain about .....I am not unhappy I got the money.....so get bent.

Or something like that.

Posted by: CBinDC1 | April 7, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Gotta pace yourself, man. It's a long season.
************************
n angst prior to this game! It's only the SECOND GAME OF THE SEASON!? Why do I feel like my stomach is about to turn over, can the taste left in my mouth after opening day be this awful?

WHY AM I A NATS FAN!?!?! Breathe, just breathe.

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | April 7, 2010 5:48 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Sec3mysofa: Thanks, who managed last year? for the life of me i can't remember i know he played for the Expo's and was an all-star and his first name was Tim.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 7, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

OK, maybe MASN can re-do that commercial with Dunn on the phone selling tickets to the right field upper deck.
"No, seriously--go back further; further ..."

"No, all the way back to Philly."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Chico Harlan can flat out write. And it is amazing that he was so good covering a game he didn't particularly like. As others said, his tribute to his grandfather was first-rate, award-worthy. Congratulations, Chico.

Posted by: gbooksdc | April 7, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

You're thinking of Tim Foli, Dargramps.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 7, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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