Marquis working hard to improve

Marquis working hard to improve

Marquis working hard to improve
PHOENIX -- Jason Marquis has gone through this before, stretches of baseball where he can't seem to find a way to get his opponents out.

"I just have to battle and compete and still find a way to get the job done," the D-backs starting pitcher said. "No matter what I feel in between the starts, that's what you're going to get from me on the mound."

And the veteran right-hander is working between starts to get better results during his starts, which haven't been good thus far.

"I have to be down in the zone better," he said. "When I've been ahead, I just haven't finished guys like I've needed to and when I've been behind, I've given up too many hitter's pitches up in the zone and over the plate."

In two starts -- both losses - Marquis has a 12.38 ERA and has given up 15 runs in eight innings. He lasted only four innings in each of his first two starts on the team, against the Giants and Astros.

"The most important thing about [Tuesday] was that we won the ballgame," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he told Marquis. "He made a lot of mistakes and I don't want to say 'Who cares?' but we just try to overcome it and try to win the game.

"He's a veteran guy, he doesn't have to impress anybody and we want to encourage him to not feel any pressure."

Marquis mentioned that mentally, he doesn't feel any pressure and mechanically, he's not staying over the rubber like he wants to.

"You want to stand out to your teammates and be able to win games," he said. "Obviously my first two outings didn't show that, but I try not to put too much pressure on myself."