This post reminded me of one of my long running hot button issues: Hating Sean Marshall. This guy kills the Braves, and it has caused me to dislike him on a personal level. He is probably a nice guy, but I am not going to read his biography and find out about all the charities he is into and his lovely family. I am just going to assume he will walk 20 feet out of his way to kick an especially cute puppy at any time.
Sean Marshall continued his streak of Brave-acide this week. In three appearences in ths CHI-ATL opening series, Marshall compiled the following stat line:
No, I didn't forget to put numbers in the middle four columns. Brutal.
This week's demolition got me thinking about how we have NEVER been able to hit this guy. It's his breaking stuff. Sean Marshall has got an effective sinker and a nasty 12-6 curveball, and when he is on the mound every Braves hitter spontaneously turns into Pedro Cerrano from Major League (prior to telling off Jobu in the AL Championship play in game). Bats no like curveball, bats are afraid.
And it is a Brave's specific phenomenon. Here are Marshall's career stats vs. his performance against the Braves specifically.
Here are the two games that gave me my Sean Marshall complex: 6/3/2007 in Chicago and again on 6/8/2007 back in Atlanta. Over two games he fanned 12 and let in only two runs. I remember watching both and we looked absolutely lost at the plate. I always expected great things from Sean after that, but he has been middle of the road most of his career when he doesn't have the benefit of playing us.
So what is the point of all this? At worst we see this guy once or twice a year, so it isn't a big deal. But Marshall knows how to shut down our offense, and that bothers me. There is something about his breaking pitches we can never figure out. If they traded this guy to the Phillies we would be screwed.