Jason Marquis Pitching His Way Into Postseason Rotation Spot that Doesn’t Exist

September 24, 2008

Jason Marquis pictures

(New York, NY) – Jason Marquis picked the perfect time to really turn things on.

Once the Chicago Cubs virtually clinched a playoff berth several weeks ago, and the playoff rotation was virtually set with the Cubs’ front four starters (Ryan Dempster, Rich Harden, Carlos Zambrano, and Ted Lilly), Jason Marquis decided it was time to start really pitching well. He even capped off a solid string of starts with a grand slam in Monday’s game against the New York Mets.

And it doesn’t really matter.

It doesn’t matter, not only because the Cubs have clinched the NL Central, but also because the Cubs’ postseason rotation is set with only four pitchers. Jason Marquis is brilliantly pitching his way into that fifth spot.

“I’m just doing everything I can right now to win that fifth spot in the rotation,” Marquis said Tuesday night after the Cubs’ 6-2 loss to the Mets. “I feel like I’ve really turned my season around, and I’m pitching my best ball of the season. I think I have earned a non-existant rotation spot.”

Cubs manager Lou Piniella agreed with Marquis’ assessment.

“Absolutely. If had to choose a fifth starter for our four-man postseason rotation today, I would choose Jason Marquis,” Piniella said. “Sean [Marshall] is giving him a heck of a run after tonight’s performance, with five very solid innings. But I think we’re gonna stick Sean in the bullpen for the playoffs, and we’re going to let Jason have that fifth starter spot.”

Marquis was ecstatic when he heard the news.

“I did it? I’m the fifth starter for the playoffs? This is amazing. I’ve been on playoff teams for like five years, but they always leave me off the roster, so this is just a great feeling. To know that finally I’m trusted with the fifth spot in a four-man rotation, it’s just a special feeling.”

When reminded that being the fifth starter in a four-man rotation probably doesn’t guarantee he’ll be on the postseason roster, Marquis nodded in realization, wept openly, and curled into the fetal position while crying “Tony… Tony… I need you now…”

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