Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ground ball is Marquis' best friend

By Anthony Fenech / MLB.com | 08/09/11

PHOENIX -- The way Jason Marquis looks at it, if he's doing his job Tuesday night then the hitter-friendly reputation of Chase Field won't matter.

"The ultimate key for me is keeping the ball on the ground," he said. "Obviously anything in the air is not a good sign, but if I'm doing what I'm supposed to do then that doesn't come into play."

Marquis did what he was supposed to do in his first start, a shellacking at the hands of the Giants last Wednesday, in which the veteran gave up eight runs -- seven earned -- on 10 hits.

In that outing, ground ball after ground ball found hole after hole, which resulted in Marquis getting charged with the loss in his Arizona debut.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson talked about the need for better defensive positioning when Marquis is on the hill.

"It's really just having an understanding of what he's trying to do to them, and then he gives us an idea of what he expects them to do if he gets his pitch where he wants it," Gibson said. "We'll change things a little bit and be more communicative."

Gibson also said that Marquis has the ability to dictate moves on the field.

"I told him, if he wants to make a move [he can], and there's a lot of veteran guys like that, they'll move guys if they know what they're going to do with a guy," Gibson said.

Marquis entered Tuesday with an 0-4 record and 4.21 ERA in nine career starts at Chase Field.

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