Mar 7, 2010, 9:28 PM EDT
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 »
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