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Marquis could be reliever on Tuesday

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  • Marquis could be reliever on Tuesday

    QUOTE
    Marquis could be a reliever on Tuesday
    By Derrick Goold
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/25/2005

    MILWAUKEE — What with Jeff Suppan taking a shutout through the eighth inning and running his record to 7-0 in Milwaukee, the opportunity for righthander Jason Marquis to throw did not arrive Sunday.

    Keeping their plans for prepping the pitcher for the postseason, the Cardinals now eye Tuesday as a possible day for Marquis to make his first "relief" appearance of the season. That would put him on track to throw Saturday against Cincinnati.

    "If we know who we're playing (in the playoffs)," pitching coach Dave Duncan said, "that could be a start (for Marquis)."

    The Cardinals have cemented Matt Morris as Tuesday's starter (with Marquis cast in relief). Chris Carpenter will start Wednesday's game and Mark Mulder goes Friday. Suppan, coming off a commanding eight-inning outing Sunday for his 16th win, does not have another start scheduled. Either he or Marquis could start Saturday's game.

    Manager Tony La Russa and Duncan would like Morris, the longest-tenured Cardinal and a Cardinal throughout his career, to start the final regular-season game at Busch Stadium.

    "We'll see what happens Tuesday," said Duncan, qualifying all pitching plans with the possibility of a starter doing what Suppan did and taking a shutout into late innings. "If (Marquis) can get a couple innings on Tuesday, that would line him up for Saturday and then we'll see what goes from there."

    Something brewing

    In each of their previous two series, Milwaukee went into the final game with a chance to sweep. With seven games remaining, the Brewers (77-78) are within reach of finishing better than .500, their publicized goal.

    "But that's just a start, it's not where we ultimately want to be," manager Ned Yost said. "I'm tired of being labeled a loser for 12 years. If you lose one more game than you win, then that's what you are. It doesn't matter where you finish (in the division). I don't want anybody to call us a loser again."

    The potential of being the first Brewers club since 1992 to finish at or better than .500 has fueled the young club down the stretch. It has also emphasized that learning time is over, Yost said.

    Flush with young talent such as Rickie Weeks and J.J. Hardy, the Brewers have built this season on pitching. Chris Capuano will start on three days' rest if it gives him a shot at a 20th win next weekend. Doug Davis' ERA dropped to 3.85 after Sunday's start. And the Brewers have had ace Ben Sheets for only two-thirds of the season.

    The club the Cardinals will host in the first game at the new Busch figures to be one with higher aspirations than the push for .500 or a third-place possibility.

    "We've got the nucleus of our team in place," Yost said. "These young players ... we haven't scratched the surface of what they'll be able to accomplish."

    Around the horn

    Hector Luna left the game after fouling a pitch off his left foot. The ball hit where his shinguard does not protect, but team officials said that besides bruising, Luna was fine. ... Rick Eckstein, brother of shortstop David, is spending time with the Cardinals this week. A hitting instructor in Washington's organization, Rick Eckstein has spent most of his time talking about infield play with coach Jose Oquendo. ... Before his first at-bat in the first inning, Pujols reached from the on-deck circle and gave his batting helmet to a fan sitting in the front row as a souvenir. He then ducked into the dugout to grab a new one.


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