Dave Duncan: Change is on the way
By Rick Hummel
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Monday, Aug. 14 2006
PITTSBURGH — Jason Marquis presumably kept his oar in the water Sunday to
remain in the Cardinals' rotation, even when lefthander Mark Mulder returns
from his shoulder problems, by holding the Pittsburgh Pirates to three hits --
two of them second-inning home runs by Jason Bay and Joe Randa -- and two runs
in six innings.
But pitching coach Dave Duncan, dissatisfied, in general, with a staff that has
an earned-run average of 4.61, says change of some sort is on the horizon.
"We're going to do something," Duncan said. "We're going to look at the
pitching, all of the pitching, to see if there is some way to do things that
gives us a better chance.
"We're not pitching good enough to win. Any part of our pitching is not good
enough, so we've got to do something."
As far as adjusting the rotation, Duncan said, "I don't know if it's that. What
you do with each guy is try to identify things that are particular to them that
they need to do in order to succeed and (identify) the things they have a
tendency to do that hurt them. You try to eliminate the things that hurt them.
"Each guy knows what those things are, but when you see those things reoccur
and that makes it more difficult for them to win, somewhere along the line
you've got to take a stronger stance."
Manager Tony La Russa said he and Duncan were undecided about Thursday's
pitcher for the final game of a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds in
St. Louis. It would be Jeff Suppan's turn, but Jeff Weaver, who had a strong
outing in beating the Reds last week in Cincinnati, also would be on four days'
Marquis would be in line to pitch Friday or Saturday when the Cardinals make
one more trip to Chicago to play the Cubs, but he said, "I can't look to the
future. I can't control what they want to do."
Sunday's loss was his fourth in a row, dropping him to 12-11. He still is just
one win off the league lead.
"It's not like I've won two games all year," Marquis said. "I've still won half
of my starts (actually 12 of 25), so that's a positive sign.
"I've struggled before, and I'll probably struggle again. I prepare myself for
my best start possible today. The same could be said for my next start or next
year or five years from now. I think I've shown I've come out of struggles
Marquis reiterated his position that he has hurt himself by "thinking too much
on the mound and not trusting my stuff. I'm putting too much pressure on
myself, more than anything. But I feel confident."
The home runs allowed by Marquis on Sunday extended his major-league lead to
"Obviously, the outcome of the game is not what you want, but from a personal
level, I'm a lot more at ease," he said.
"The pitch to (Jason) Bay is not the pitch I wanted, but the pitch to (Joe)
Randa, he put a good swing on it. I made two or three mistakes today."
A possible harbinger for the Cardinals is that the last time the Pirates swept
them in Pittsburgh in 2004, the Cardinals went to the World Series. The Pirates
also swept the Florida Marlins at home in 2003, and the Marlins won the World