Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Coach Services

May 08, 1979 Associated Press

The Great Relievers: Mike Marshall
Associated Press
May 08, 1979

BLOOMINGTON, MN:  Mike Marshall has become the prescribed medicine the Minnesota Twins have been using to stay healthy and on top of the American League West this season.

Marshall, who has a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from Michigan State, appeared in 16 of the Twins' first 20 games, and with five wins and nine saves, had a hand in 14 of the Twins' initial 18 victories.

"I love to pitch," says the 36-year-old reliever.  "People ask:  'When you win?'  I say no;  I have no control over that.  If my stats are good, it's because the rest of the guys are doing their jobs.  I just try to do mine."

So far, Marshall's stats are very good.

The former Cy Young Award winner allowed only three runs in his first 31.2 innings for a stingy earned run average of 0.77, and all three of those runs came in one outing.

Twins manager Gene Mauch calls him the man with the indestructible arm.  In 1973, when Mauch was managing Montreal, Marshall appeared in 92 games for the Expos.  The next year, he pitched in 106 games for the Dodgers and won the Cy Young Award.

Surprisingly, back and knee problems have bothered him, but he's never suffered from a sore arm.

"He's got an infielder's arm that he taught how to pitch," noted Mauch.

"I guarantee you the arm will remain strong," said Marshall, a shortstop in the first four years of his minor-league career.  "I've worked harder at keeping it that way than other pitchers.  Not because they don't try, but I know which direction to take.

"I didn't get my doctorate for being stupid."

At his present rate, Marshall would appear in over 100 games for the Twins, and if his wins and saves rise accordingly, there could be talk of another Cy Young honor.

Is it possible for a reliever to win not one, but two, Cy Young awards?

"I'll tell you what, he already has," said Mauch.  "I'm sure he'll tell you that he won it in 1973 (92 games, 31 saves, 14-11 record and a 2.66 ERA), but they awarded it in 1974."

Marshall, never one to pull his punches, confirmed Mauch's statement.  "I should have won it in '73.  That also was my most enjoyable year in baseball."

Enjoyable for Mauch, too, judging by the following story.

"He pitched 8 1/3 innings of relief in the first game of a doubleheader against the Mets and we lost in the 15th inning," Mauch remembered.  Then he went 3 2/3 in the second game and we lost in 12 innings.

"He lost both ends of a doubleheader.  The next day I asked him, 'What do you think?'  'Can you pitch?'  He said, 'No problem.'"

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------      With regard to the that last anecdote: Gene had it somewhat backward.  On September 7, 1973, I pitched the last three innings for Steve Renko in a nine-inning, first game, 1-0 loss to the Mets.  In game two, I took over for Mike Torrez with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, then proceeded to toss 8 1/3 innings before losing the game in the top of the 15th.  So, on September 7, 1973, I pitched 11 1/3 innings of closing relief.

     Gene did not use me in the game the next day.  Instead, I pitched in the game two days later.

Happy Pitching Everybody

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