Sean Marshall has weighed in on his fitness for and desire to take over the Reds closer role. In an interview with John Fay, Marshall addressed the skepticism about whether he can pitch three days in a row.

“I’ve definitely pitched in at least three games in a row,” (Marshall) said. “I’ve been hot and ready to pitch a fourth game. It really depends on how many pitches I throw in an outing. It depends on how many times you get up (to warm up). Those are big factors for a reliever. I’ve done it before and had good success. I think I’m more than capable.”

The numbers back him up.

Marshall was converted from starter to reliever on a permanent basis in June 2009.  Based on easy-to-check game logs, he pitched on three consecutive dates eleven times since then. In those eleven appearances, he did not give up a single run. Not one.

Summary: 0.00 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and 3.5 K/BB

The public doubts about Marshall came from his new manager, Dusty Baker, who the day before referred to advice he had heard on how to use Marshall.

Baker: “I was told that with (Sean) Marshall, you’ve got to try to stay away from him going three days in a row.”

Baker’s criteria:

“Your closer ideally can go three or four days in a row. That’s how closing goes. Then he might not get work for a week. There are very few guys out there that have gone three, four, five days in a row.

We should ignore the “or four” part of “three or four games in a row” because the game logs show that even with Baker as manager, it actually happens about once a year. So it hardly seems worthy of mention, let alone a meaningful criteria for a closer. And there are “very few guys out there” who have pitched four or five games in a row because the vast majority of managers question the wisdom of using any pitcher that way.

Maybe a dozen or so data points aren’t enough to draw any conclusions about Marshall, an observation which equally cuts against Baker’s original claim. But the record that does exist creates no reservations about the pitcher’s ability to save three straight games.

You might be curious how Coco Cordero performed when he pitched on a third consecutive night. Over the comparable time period in that situation, Cordero’s numbers were: 4.24 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 1.4 K/BB.

Stubborn things, these facts.