SAN DIEGO • Padres starter Jason Marquis, who pitched to catcher Mike Matheny in 2004 in St. Louis, has won five games in a row after holding the Cardinals to three hits and two runs in six innings of a 4-2 victory Monday night.
“He’s evolved as a pitcher,” said Matheny, now the Cardinals' manager. “He’s not the same guy I was able to catch, as far as stuff goes. As far as makeup, he is. He’s a competitor. He’s going to challenge you and have guts on the mound.”
Marquis was 42-37 and averaged 201 innings from 2004-06 in St. Louis.
But Matheny noted that Marquis, who threw 94 miles an hour, had been resistant to pitching coach Dave Duncan’s opinion that Marquis’ sinker was his best weapon.
“They had some conversations I don’t think Jason really wanted to have,” Matheny said. “It took a little bit of time for him to convince Jason of the power of pitching ahead in the count and being in the bottom of the strike zone. (Marquis) reaped the benefits of having had spent some time with Dave Duncan and it was fun to watch his career progress.
“I always told him he was New York-tough (Marquis a New Yorker). He loves his heritage. I’ve always liked that about him. I knew no matter what situation came up, he wasn’t going to get rattled.”