Jason Marquis was a reasonably effective fifth starter for the Cubs – and, frankly, may have been their best pitcher down the stretch in 2008 – but nevertheless, the team elected to trade him in the off-season, a move not a lot of fans shed a tear over. As the whims of baseball scheduling would have it, Marquis, if he did indeed harbor ill-will toward his former club, would not have to wait long for his first crack at revenge. Tuesday, in just the eighth game of the season, Marquis took the mound for Colorado against his old teammates, surrounded by the same fans that once cheered and sometimes booed him. The result was happy for Marquis, not so happy for his erstwhile mates. Colorado, behind Marquis’ pitching and hitting, took down the Cubs 5-2, blasting Cubs starter Rich Harden for 4 runs in 3 innings in the process.
Marquis thoroughly outpitched Harden, going 7 innings, and allowing just 1 run on 5 hits. But some of Marquis’ best work of the day actually came at the plate: with two out and the bases loaded in the 2nd, Marquis slapped a single to center off Harden, driving in a pair of runs to give Colorado a 2-0 lead. His teammates got him two more in the third, more than he would need on an off-day for the Cubs offense, which got Geovany Soto back from his shoulder injury but was still missing Aramis Ramirez and Milton Bradley. Derrek Lee would provide a small bright spot for the Cubs by blasting his first homer of the year in the 9th off Huston Street.
The Cubs next face the hated Cardinals for four games. Sean Marshall will make his 2009 starting debut Thursday afternoon against Adam Wainwright.