Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jason Marquis and Doug Davis

Top of the first (Brewers batting)

Weeks singled
Counsell singled, Weeks to third
Braun singled, Weeks scored, Counsell to second
Fielder hit by pitch, Counsell to third, Braun to second
McGehee walked, Counsell scored, Braun to third, Fielder to second
Edmonds hit by pitch, Braun scored, Fielder to third, McGehee to second
Zaun singled, Fielder scored, McGehee to third, Edmonds to second

That was the entire day on Sunday for Jason Marquis. He didn't record an out and was responsible for three runners, all of whom scored. His final line...

0 IP, 4 hits, 7 runs (all earned), one walked , 2 hit batters, no strike outs

It wasn't the first time he has struggled this season. In his first two starts as a National, Marquis was 0-2 with a 12.96 ERA. So after today, Marquis is 0-3 with a 20.52 ERA.

Marquis was an all star in 2009 while pitching for the Colorado Rockies, but struggled in second half. After the mid-summer classic, Marquis' ERA was 4.56. Despite the rough finish, the Nationals rewarded Marquis with a two year, $15 million contract.

The best part of this was how big of a bullet the Brewers dodged here.

I found it very interesting Marquis was matched up with Doug Davis on Sunday. Both pitchers were linked to the Brewers this offseason. Both are at the back end of their careers. Both have struggled with their new teams in 2010.

The key for the Brewers is both don't have the same contracts. I was cringing when the Brewers were linked to Marquis early in the offseason. After reports that the Mets were pursuing him hard, the Brewers interest cooled. Marquis was looking for a three year, $30 million contract when the Brewers had interest. Signing Marquis would've been Jeff Suppan v 2.0.

Davis was signed instead to a one year deal worth $5.25 million. A much better idea considering Davis is a better pitcher and was signed for cheaper and shorter in length.

While Marquis has consistently racked up innings, he has also consistent failed to strike out batters. His career 5.3 K/9 is awful (also heavily weighted from earlier in his career). Pair that with rising walk totals (3.6 BB/9 in last three seasons) and Marquis looks like a bad contract waiting to happen.

Davis isn't Dan Haren when it comes to controlling the ball either. His 4.4 BB/9 in last three seasons is amongst the worst in baseball, but he can combat that with strikeouts. In that same span, Davis posted 6.7 K/9 on average. Sure those aren't the numbers of an ace, but they are good enough to round out a rotation.

Be upset if you want to about the way Doug Davis has pitched this season, but it could be worse. I'm just thankful Jason Marquis isn't priced into our rotation for the next three years the way Jeff Suppan was.

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