The bullpen was able to plug the dam, and keeping the water from rushing through, which was the good thing. Unfortunately, they were already up to their armpits in water at the time. Or something like that. Jason Marquis is not a front line pitcher. He will have some good days, and he will have some bad days. The bad days are more likely to come against teams that can score run. You know, teams like the Phillies, Mets, Rockies, Braves… ugh. According to Baseball Prospectus, they forecast exactly 4 NL teams to score at least 740 runs this season. Those are it, and 3 of them are in the division. It could be a long year for Marquis.
Back to the good news, the bullpen. In the 5th inning, Ryan Howard hit a prodigious home run. Jason Marquis was replaced with Tyler Walker, who pitched 2 perfect innings and struck out three. Then came the 7th, where Jesse English, fresh off his perfect debut, gave up a liner hit at him, a walk and got Howard to fly out. He was replaced with Tyler Clippard, who walked someone and allowed a run, credited to English, on a sac fly. Clippard also pitched the 8th, and other than that run, didn’t give anything up. Finally, Matt Capps allowed an unearned run thanks to another error by Ian Desmond, and generally looked bad. But for the most part, outside of Capps, the bullpen looked effective.
Ian and Cristian
The Ian Desmond error show was augmented by a great game at the plate. If he keeps hitting, he’s going to stay at short for the time being. If he keeps committing those errors, they may feel they need to put him somewhere else. But let’s not jump the gun on either side of things. He’s on pace to commit 162 errors, he’s also on pace to hit 81 homers and have an slug .857. None of those things will end up happening. So continue to hope he hits, and hold your breath and hope he can commit a few less errors, otherwise Cristian Guzman may end up taking his place.
Meanwhile, Guzman hitting a triple is also a good thing. The more he hits, the more other teams may forget that he has had some truly horrendous months at the plate even in his best years. If he has a spectacular April, he may be able to attract attention from some potential suitors, and even get something in return for the Nats.