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A tale of two innings

Mar 7, 2010, 9:28 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jason Marquis pitched a clean first inning, then allowed five runs in the second.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — After watching his teammates on the Nationals pitching staff serve up homers like creamed corn in an elementary school cafeteria the previous three days, Jason Marquis wanted to take the mound today, put together two clean innings and restore his club's good name.

The veteran right-hander, though, wasn't immune to the plague that has consumed the majority of Washington's pitchers through the early stages of the Grapefruit League. Despite a quick, scoreless first inning, Marquis fell into some bad habits in the second and after a fluke play wound up charged with five runs.

Omir Santos' inside-the-park grand slam on a groundball into the left-field corner — more on that in a moment — was the big blow, but that wasn't really Marquis' fault. His bigger problem was loading the bases on three straight walks to open the inning, and that's what he lamented over afterward.

"I just lost my aggressiveness, wasn't really getting through the ball," he said. "I was trying to guide it to spots, instead of just letting my natural ability take over. It made me lose command of the strikeRead more ยป

  1. John - Mar 7, 2010 at 10:02 PM

    Well they kept the opposition under 10 runs. It's going to be hard to keep Ian Desmond out of the line up. Morse, too. I won't be concerned about the first week in March, but by St. Patrick's Day, they better start taking these games seriously.

  2. SonnyG10 - Mar 8, 2010 at 1:50 AM

    Hope the stuck ball is not indicative of how things are going to go this year. That looked a lot like what happened to us last year.

  3. 023staN - Mar 8, 2010 at 2:41 AM

    I'm not worried about Your Washington Nationals this early in Spring Training. We will continue to attend every game to cheer them on to victory!

  4. Anonymous - Mar 8, 2010 at 2:55 AM

    Well, I'll be. I guess a guy has to be paid $10,000,000 a year to know enough to leave a stuck ball alone! Then again, about $20,000,000 a year to know enough not to guide a pitch to spots, instead of just letting my "natural ability" take over (take over??). How did you get to the majors in the first place – with NO natural ability? You just have to love the thought process of these guys. Wow. Good luck team. I think the Nats will do well this year. Thank goodness it won't be with most of the "players" now at spring training. I just hope management thinks clearer about who stays with the team than the way Marquis and Taveras think!! GO NATS!

  5. natsfan1a - Mar 8, 2010 at 3:05 AM

    You know, it's almost to the point of stalking with the 320 impressions, IMO. Pretty creepy stuff.

  6. Anonymous - Mar 8, 2010 at 5:00 AM

    Hilarious parody, 023staN. He has to be the most cloyingly annoying guy in Natstown.

  7. Anonymous - Mar 8, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    After watching his teammates on the Nationals pitching staff serve up homers like creamed corn in an elementary school cafeteria the previous three daysC'mon Mark, how about some new similes ๐Ÿ˜‰



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