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Game 154 Open Thread: September 22, 2005

mattmo claussen
14-9, 4.10 10-9, 3.98

after marquis' outing last night, morris really has his work cut out for him. jason exhibited the demeanor you want in a playoff pitcher: hungry, aggressive, uninhibited.

on his 13th pitch of the game, 2d hitter in the bottom of the 1st, he didn't get a call on a close 2-2 curve to felipe lopez. he took the throw from molina and stomped back to the rubber. a month ago his frustration might have got the better of him, and he might have embraced failure. instead, last night, he paused a few moments to gather himself, took a deep breath, then came back and threw a low fastball over the plate. lopez hit it hard but right at edmonds for an uneventful out.

similar occasion in the 6th inning -- call went the other way on a close 2-2 pitch to adam dunn, but marquis battled through three 3-2 pitches to retire dunn on a flyball to left. maturity; confidence; whatever you want to call it, marquis radiated it last night. the reds put good wood on the ball all night long, but jason never backed down -- kept throwing strikes, challenging hitters. you can do that when you have a 5-run lead, trust your defense, and catch a few breaks; but early in the season, you may recall, marquis made a habit of pissing away early leads. he stayed firmly in control last night -- had a 2-0 lead by the time he made his first pitch, threw about 80 pct fastballs the first time through the order and pitched off it throughout the game -- still in the low 90s w good movement in the 7th inning. has now walked just two guys in his last 39 innings . . . .

LOOGY audition? randy flores whiffed dunn leading off the 8th and made it look easy: strike one (swinging) on the inside corner, strike two (called) away, a waste fastball outside, then a sweeping side-to-side curve that carved dunn right in half.

rob attended the game and has spot reportage at the birdwatch. . . . . good words about david eckstein at get up baby and cardnilly.

both the astros and phillies won today; houston by 2 games with 9 to play.