10/03/09 1:16 AM EST
Marquis making sure to live in the moment
Rockies right-hander not thinking about future contracts
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
Marquis has tied his career high for wins and figures to be an important figure in the Rockies' rotation for the postseason. Because he's also in the last year of his contract, a big performance in the playoffs could lead to a big payday.
But one reason Marquis (15-12) has been a model of consistency for much of the season is because he hasn't concerned himself with much beyond the present.
"This is my second time going through free agency, and I think last time, I got ahead of myself," Marquis said. "I think that's what went wrong the second half of the '06 season. I really got too far ahead of myself, looking too far into the future instead of living in the moment, focusing on my task at hand.
"I learned my lesson. You learn from you mistakes. It's been helpful. When that path comes, we'll cross it, and we'll see where it takes us."
Back in 2006, Marquis went 11-6 with a 5.55 ERA before the All-Star break with the Cardinals. In the second half, he was 3-10 with a 6.72 ERA. The Cards would win the World Series, but Marquis would not participate in any of the postseason games.
Nonetheless, he received a three-year, $21 million contract from the Cubs. Marquis went a respectable 23-18 with a 4.57 ERA over two seasons for Chicago, but the Cubs picked his salary to unload.
The Rockies acquired him for reliever Luis Vizcaino in a winter deal that didn't receive much attention, but it helped the Rockies develop into a playoff team.
The 31-year-old Marquis received his first All-Star Game invitation this year after going 11-6 in the first half. He has had some second-half struggles, but those have more to do with out-of-kilter mechanics on his sinker for a six-start period. His last start was much better. He had to pitch through traffic -- six hits and four walks in six innings -- but gave up just two runs in the Rockies' 7-5 victory over the Brewers on Tuesday.
Marquis' team has advanced to the postseason in each of his 10 seasons in the Majors, counting this one.
"We have a good chance to do something special," he said. "It never gets old. I don't take it for granted, because I've been in this position a lot of times. I bring some experience and knowledge for guys who want to ask me questions.
"I always want to prove the believers right -- the people who are on my side and want to have me on their team. Hopefully, I've brought some leadership to this team [for] some young pitchers, some guys who just needed to get over that hump. Hopefully, I've provided that. I'm enjoying every bit of it."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.