The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
"Marquis" quite literally means "the lord of the march," which made me quite nervous that Jason Marquis' stellar spring training exploits would be nothing more than a March mirage, but Friday night he passed his first April test with a dominant performance against the Toronto Blue Jays in Montreal. Marquis allowed just a single hit in his 5 IP, and struck out 3 Blue Jays against zero walks while pounding the strike zone and actually looking like a competent major league starter. There's a mountain of evidence to suggest that he's incapable of being just that for a big league season, but there's something that both Walt Jocketty and Bryan Price have seen in him that has them seemingly convinced, and if it's anything like what was on display tonight, they just might be on to something.
Have a JNMHSotG trophy, Jason.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Skip Schumaker, who ribbie'd the game's only ribbies with a slap single; Billy Hamilton, who had a pair of hits; Burke Badenhop, who finally tossed a scoreless inning; and Nate Adcock, who K'd a pair of Toronto batters in a perfect 9th while looking 99.999% like Curtis Partch to get the save.
- With Marquis on point and notorious fast worker Mark Buehrle on the mound for Toronto, this game flew by, and the bats stayed largely silent. The game's only scoring came from the Reds in the Top of the 8th once the backups had entered the game, and the it began with a Ray Chang walk - which haunted. That was followed by Steve that was too Selsky for pitcher Aaron Loup, and after Kris Negron struck out, Skip smacked a slappy oppo turf monster grounder down the LF line to drive both hitters in. The pitching held strong, and that was that. Reds win, 2-0!
- Anthony DeSclafani will take the hill for the Reds tomorrow in their final tune-up before Opening Day on Monday, and he'll be opposed by lefty Daniel Norris of the Toronto Blue Jays. The game will again be in Montreal's Olympic Stadium, with first pitch scheduled for 1:07 PM Eastern. The game will be on MLB Network, so turn on, tune in, and drop some wings in the deep fryer.
- Brandon Phillips was originally drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 2nd round of the 1999 MLB Draft. That's something.
- This pre-season has lasted so freaking long that I'm fresh out of other 'Other Notes.'