Marquis ready to repeat good start

Nationals right-handed pitcher Jason Marquis (0-6, 11.39) takes the hill tonight as the Nats look to salvage their final game of the season against the Chicago Cubs and right-hander Ryan Dempster (11-8, 3.56) at Nats Park.

Marquis says his start against Philadelphia felt more like he wanted for the past month.

“Day by day and game by game I am starting to feel a lot better with my delivery and my mechanics. I am starting to get a lot more confidence in everything.

“It is about getting ahead and pounding the strike zone. A couple of batters got away from me, I was ahead 0-2, 1-2 and let them slip away so I have to do a little better on that end.”

Marquis says his sinker was working well against the Phillies and he hopes to continue that trend against Chicago.

“My sinker was a lot better with the action it had. It was down in the zone more consistently. That is a key pitch that allowed me to do what I want on the mound.

“Obviously the results of allowing only one run is what I am looking for. Hopefully I can extend that by controlling counts so I can go deeper into the game.”

Marquis is looking for his first win as a Washington National, and with the starting five in a state of flux because of injuries and rough outings, tonight could go a long way in stabilizing the unit before St. Louis arrives tomorrow.

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