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Jason Marquis’ deal with the devil hasn’t expired yet

Jul 26, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

Jason Marquis AP

Jason Marquis got released by the Twins in May after pitching about as poorly as a big leaguer could possibly pitch, starting seven games with an 8.47 ERA, .371 opponents’ batting average, and more walks (14) than strikeouts (12) in 34 innings.

He quickly signed a minor-league deal with the Padres and joined their rotation after just one Double-A start. And after out-dueling Tim Lincecum last night Marquis now has a 3.48 ERA in 10 starts for the Padres.

And before you go attributing all that success to Petco Park, consider that last night’s win over the Giants came on the road and Marquis actually has a better ERA on the road (3.38) than at home (3.60) as a member of the Padres.

Perhaps the most startling aspect of Marquis’ turnaround is that he’s racking up strikeouts for the first time since … well, ever. Marquis has always had one of the lowest strikeout rates in baseball, never whiffing even 7.0 batters per nine innings in a season, yet since joining the Padres he has 56 strikeouts in 62 innings.

How does a 33-year-old with a 4.60 career ERA go from posting an 8.47 ERA and 12/14 K/BB ratio in 34 innings for the Twins to immediately posting a 3.48 ERA and 56/17 K/BB ratio in 62 innings for the Padres? Having watched all seven of Marquis’ starts for the Twins it literally doesn’t seem possible.

  1. biasedhomer - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:10 PM


  2. rgledz - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Roids……..just kidding. It’s the National League.

  3. icanspeel - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    I’d attribute it to Darren Balsley and Bud Black. Petco helps, but also having “2 pitching coaches” on the team helps a lot of pitchers who go to San Diego. I’ve heard from countless interviews that they work really well with the pitchers and help with adjustments.

  4. turdfurgerson68 - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Steroids?? That’s soo 20th century…Marquis is doing it the old school way:

    A Different Kind of Performance Enhancer

    March 31, 2006

    In 1889, a Pittsburgh pitcher named Jim “Pud” Galvin became the first baseball player to be widely known for using a performance enhancer. (He was nicknamed “Pud” because his pitching supposedly turned opposing batters into “pudding” — much like Barry Bonds’ brain.) Before pitching a game against Boston, Pud used something called the elixir of Brown-Sequard… essentially testosterone drained from the gonads of an animal. And, low and behold, the juiced-up Galvin won.

    NPR’s Luke Burbank has the scoop this morning, and the amazing thing is that no one seemed to mind the use of performance enhancers back then. The Washington Post all but pushed the drug in an article from 1889:

    “If there still be doubting Thomases who concede no virtue of the elixir, they are respectfully referred to Galvin’s record in yesterday’s Boston-Pittsburgh game. It is the best proof yet furnished of the value of the discovery.”

  5. tcostant - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    No DH?

  6. blueballzny - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Hey, if A.J. Burnett can do what he’s done this year than anything is possible.

  7. raysfan1 - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    He hired a new agent, some guy named Faust.

  8. raindog - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    This blows my freaking mind. I don’t get it.

  9. classyt2000 - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Maybe you should take into consideration that his spring training was interrupted when his daughter almost died. When he returned to the twins his daughter was still in critical condition. So lack of prep and concentration prob played a part in his performance.

    The NL west prob doesn’t hurt either.

    • gloccamorra - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:24 AM

      Very good point. His daughter was just out of intensive care when the Padres sent him to their triple A club, and he was able to clear his head. When he arrived in Petco, he had an opportunity to turn it around and made the most of it.

      He’s been helped by five starts in Petco, but three of the five road parks were in Seattle, SF and LA. In the two hitters’ parks in Denver and Phoenix, he gave up 5 and 4 earned runs, his two worst starts. He may have to pitch in those parks again, along with Cincy and Wrigley, so stay tuned.

  10. SOBEIT - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    The Giants had Sandoval and Posey out, and the rest of the lineup just stunk because Melky and Theriot were exposed as the only solid bats in the lineup. And Petco and AT&T are both large yards…so it makes sense that Marquis did well because last nights lineup was like 2011 Giants all over again. Don’t know what Bochy was thinking with the opportunity to get the sweep, the Dodgers lost and we have a day off today. So it did not make sense to take Posey out, insert Whiteside at C, all while Sandoval was out with the hamstring injury the night before.

    And for some reason, the Giants have a problem with sinkerballers and finishing off sweeps this year. Marquis did his thing and I have not seen him enough this year to rip him and just blame the Giants…but he got a lot of help from the whiffle ball lineup of the Giants. We have many more games against SD, so we shall see if Marquis holds up. But Lincecum took a step back. So still a work in progress.

    • granted42 - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      When you have Pagan batting fourth, and Crawford batting fifth, you’re less frightened than if you were facing the Fresno Grizzlies. Pitch around Melky, and it’s almost like pitching to a AA team the rest of the way. He’s done well, but yesterday’s game by itself, while helping his stats, isn’t an indicator of things to come for him. In fact, he’s kind of lucky the Padre’s own questionable offense was able to score more than three runs, because, really, if a pitcher loses to that pathetic lineup, it should be DFA city for him, if not out right release.

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