Originally Posted by RedsManRick
I always find it interesting when people talk about Sean Marshall and how he doesn't have dominating stuff. It's like, ok... well then... I know it's not conventionally dominant stuff, but we're not talking about a low K, low BB guy here. He's not Bronson Arroyo. While he may go about it differently, he strikes out more than a guy per inning and does a fantastic job of keeping the ball in the yard.
I really want to understand why Marshall's dominant results somehow won't hold up in the 9th inning simply because his stuff is different. I totally get not wanting to have a guy who is effective in the way most soft tosser's are, inducing lots of weak contact. But Marshall is a strikeout pitcher with plus command and extreme groundball tendencies. And while he has a platoon split, he's still very effective effective against RH.
Is it a function of his stuff being effective because it takes advantage of a lack of concentration instead of a deficit in physical ability, meaning that when a guy who comes to the plate with greater focus he can be more effective against Marshall whereas that focus won't give him an extra advantage against Broxton? That's the only thing I can think of. Because the whole "Guys aren’t really going to worry about getting beat, so they can take advantage of his mistakes a little better." doesn't actually seem to show up in his results.
I don't know why, but Marshall has logged enough 9th inning numbers to demonstrate he is pedestrian in that inning. What's weird is that his K rate is double what it is elsewhere, but he's clearly getting hit harder by batters in the 9th inning. http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...ear=Career&t=p
My guess is has something to do with batter's approach in that final inning than it does Marshall's stuff. Anecdotally, observing the 9th inning of hundreds of games over the past several years, I am convinced the 9th inning is a different animal than the rest of the game. There is a mystical element, which I think leads to there being some "artistry" to the closer, so the "scientific" answer that "any above average reliever could pitch the 9th inning with similar results as A, B or C closer" doesn't adequately explain away the mystery.