Monday, April 7, 2008

Overheard on Extra Innings: Mike Marshall Had A Rubber Arm

This one's a couple days old, but worth the wait.

On Thursday's broadcast of the Padres-Astros' game, the Channel 4 San Diego broadcast team of Matt Vasgersian and Mark "Mud Cat" Grant were reminiscing about bullpen usage patterns in the past. They invoked the name Mike Marshall, and suggested that he used to pitch nearly every day out of the bullpen for the Dodgers. [Incidentally, there was another Mike Marshall who also played for the Dodgers, but was a hitter.]

Finding this to be an unlikely scenario, I checked my old friend Baseball Reference, which revealed the following: in 1974, Marshall made an incredible 106 appearances for the Dodgers, logging a totally insane 208 innings out of the bullpen. He went 15-12 with 21 saves and a 2.42 ERA. Along the way, Marshall won the National League Cy Young award and finished 3rd in the NL MVP voting.

208 innings! Out of the bullpen!

Nice chops. Marshall should have gotten MVP for the facial hair alone.

208 innings in 1974 was his high water mark, but the year before was nearly as impressive: 92 appearances, 179 innings pitched. His record was 14-11 with 31 saves and a 2.66 ERA. He was 2nd in the 1973 Cy Young voting and 5th in the NL MVP.

I sit, stand and kneel corrected. Hats off to Mark "Mud Flaps" Grant - I will never doubt you again. I searched for a picture of Grant under "San Diego broadcaster" and came up with this. I assume it's him - it says Channel 4:

That guy on the right looks familiar. I think he used to be the distributor for my paper route. Or something like that.


Michael said...

Very funny.

Marshall, I believe, currently coaches pitchers. He majored in kinesiology and apparently feels strongly that all other pitching coaches are misinformed and leading their charges astray.

Bosox Bill said...

Yes, I recall that is correct as Michael suggests--confirmed on Wikipedia:

Marshall attended Michigan State University, earning three degrees, including a Ph.D. in kinesiology.

Marshall teaches and advocates a pitching method he developed that he "believes could completely eradicate pitching-arm injuries"

I also recall that his forkball broke either direction which is unusual if not unique.

BoSox Bill