Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Coach Services

1968 Toledo Blade

by Tom Loomis
Toledo Blade
June 06, 1968

Those streaking Toledo Mud Hens go after their ninth straight victory against Syracuse at the Rec Center tonight, but whatever happens, it’s doubtful they can put on a better show than Wednesday night’s.

It was a well-played 11-inning thing won 3-2, on Ron Wood’s two-out single off the ace Syracuse reliever, Thad Tillotson. You couldn’t ask for better entertainment.  A gathering of 1,287 saw it.

Mike Marshall went all the way for the Hens, spacing five hits and pitching near-perfect baseball the last four innings.  As usual, Marshall, the shortstop turned relief pitcher turned starter, contributed in many ways.

He scored one run, he banged out a single, he stole a base.  Mike was all over the place.  Afterward though, Marshall was most enthusiastic about his pitching.

“The big news of the evening,” the Michigan State doctorate candidate offered, “was my change in strategy.”

Marshall, it seems, finally stopped pitching like the relief pitcher the Detroit Tigers want him to be.

“I’d been trying to throw a lot of breaking stuff, keeping the ball down and making them hit it on the ground,” he said.  “Now, on the advice of Jack Tighe (Hen manager), I’ve gone to the fastball.

“When the Tigers sent me down here, it was with the understanding that if I went well, they’d call me back.  Well, I was 4-1 and I wasn’t called back.  They no doubt have their reasons and I’m not arguing that.

“But I was throwing 60 to 70 percent breaking stuff, the kind of pitches a relief pitcher has to throw when he comes in with men on.  But tonight, it was 80 percent fastballs.  Jack told me I may not always be in the Detroit organization and I should show everyone in baseball I can pitch like a starter.”

Marshall says he always had had confidence in his fastball but others haven’t had.

“They see a guy only about 5-10 or so and they figure he’d better throw the good curve.  I’d better not go into the physiological aspects of that now--but it isn’t true.”

Mike’s record now is 6-4 but he says he feels he has pitched only one really bad game, against Rochester when he was ill.

“It’s always been said that I have an assortment of pitches,” Mike said, “and it’s true.  But tonight I threw the overhand fastball, which sinks, the three-quarter fastball, about four screwballs but none for strikes, the hard slider, and one curve--which was dumped into the wrong field for a hit.  That’s all.

“Nope, Jack told me when I get two strikes on these weak hitters not to fool around, to just throw the fastball.  And it worked.  This is a change in philosophy for me and I’m very happy with it.”

Happy Pitching Everybody

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