At this time last year, Jason Marquis had a 20.52 ERA. He was on the disabled list after three starts, none of which lasted longer than 4 1/3 innings, and was about to have elbow surgery.
This year, he's healthy. And not only is he the pitcher the Nationals thought they were getting when they signed him for $15 million over two years, he might be their best pitcher.
He's taking a shutout into the eight inning against the world champion San Francisco Giants, and he's thrown 79 pitches in the process. He's had a sinker, slider and changeup working tonight, and has been clocked as high as 92 mph with his fastball. The Nationals lead the Giants 3-0, and Marquis has a good chance at a complete game.
Now, as most sinkerballers do, Marquis is going to have nights where he loses the feel of his two-seamer and get hit as he fails to make the ball drop in the zone. But what he's doing right now is reminiscent of the first half he had in 2009 for the Rockies, when he pitched eight shutout innings against the Nationals in July and made his first (and only) All-Star appearance a week later. When he's got his sinker working, he sets up everything else off of that pitch. It's pretty simple, and right now, it's all working.