Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Coach Services

1971 Sporting News

Claude and Mike--Expo Relief Aces
by Ian MacDonald
The Sporting News
March 20, 1971

WEST PALM BEACH, FL:  Claude (Frenchy) Raymond had just finished a stint on the mound and pitching coach Cal McLish said, "Outstanding!"

Later, Manager Gene Mauch was to say, "Raymond is pitching better right now that he ever has.  I mean that.  I saw Raymond pitch in 1958 and he is throwing the ball much better right now."

All of which means that the Expos feel that they are well equipped in the relief pitching department.  Raymond has shown how valuable he can be to a major league team.  Furthermore, the Expos feel that Mike Marshall and his screwball will make batters dance.

"If Raymond pitches as well as he did last year," said Mauch, smiling at the thought, "and Marshall is as good as he showed in the last month of the season, I'll match my relief pitchers with anyone."

Raymond is 33, but Mauch talks in terms of the bespectacled little righthander lasting three or four more years.

"He throws so easily," Mauch said, "And he has a rubber arm."

Raymond had 23 saves last year.  During one hot stretch, he retired 27 of 29 batters in earning five successive saves.

During that stretch, the modest Raymond, the only Canadian on the Expo roster, used to advise teammates and newsmen that "this can't go on.  I'm not that good.  I'm just throwing strikes and I'm getting good support."

Marshall is 28.  He's been around.  Mike has seen service with Detroit, Seattle, Houston and Montreal.  It's his mastery of the screwball that has pushed Marshall forward.

"He has a great screwball," said former Dodger great Don Drysdale, who is a training camp pitching aide with the Expos.  "Several fellows have made out with just the screwball.  Mike has other pitches as well."

"I feel that I have worked on the screwball enough that it is highly effective," said Marshall, who is studying for his doctorate in education at Michigan State during the off-season.  He received his master's in 1967.

"I don't depend on the screwball, though.  I like to think I can get people out with the other pitches as well.  Along with those other pitches, the screwball is effective.

"I like to think I can pitch to batter's weaknesses and get them out.  There may come a time that I have to count on the screwball.  Not just yet, though."

Marshall is the only member of the Expos' staff with a screwball and he consistently has the batters swinging and reaching during batting drills.

Marshall wants to stay with the Expos from the start this season.  Last year, he was with four different clubs.

"It was distressing," said Marshall.  "Even though two of the moves were because I won promotions, that is no way to live.  I had to send my family back to our winter home halfway through the season."

When he finally was given the boost from Winnipeg last season, Marshall had a shaky start with the Expos.  However, he straightened out and it was his work through the final month that impressed Mauch.  Over that stretch, he appeared in 14 of the Expos' final 30 games, working 29 innings.  He won twice and saved three others in September.

"Any pitcher worth his salt wants to be a starter," said Marshall of his relief status.  "I would like to think that I can start.  But I'm ready to go in any time and be a long or short reliever."

Raymond and Marshall can expect a lot of work this season.  Their ability to quell fires and rescue the young starters may have a great bearing on whether the Expos reach their objective of 81 wins.

Happy Pitching Everybody

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