The 2019 season has not been a walk in the park for the Colorado Rockies.
At any given juncture throughout the first couple of months of the season, Colorado has been faced with some sort of adversity. Nothing has come easy this year and between injuries and inconsistent play, the Rockies find themselves with a 21-25 record just over a quarter through the regular season slate.
Starting pitching has been the Rockies primary form of weakness. Rockies’ starting pitchers own the highest earned run average (5.46) in the National League to go along with a .272 opponent batting average. The rotation has failed to evolve this season which has pinned Colorado in an uncomfortable position.
Entering this season, the Rockies’ starting rotation was projected to be one of their strengths, following a tremendous showing in 2018 that yielded a trip to the postseason and the second-lowest rotation era in club history (4.17).
2019 has been a rough go-around for Rockies starters, with the exception of German Marquez.
Prior to yesterday’s game, the Rockies found themselves with a 1-4 record on their latest eight-game road trip. With their backs against the wall, Marquez took the mound in Pittsburgh for game one of a three-game set versus the Pirates and virtually pitched the Rockies to victory single-handedly.
Marquez dominated the Pirates, tossing eight innings. The damage? Just three hits and a lone walk while fanning seven batters.
Tuesday’s performance was ace-esque from Marquez, who has slowly become one of the best all-around pitchers in baseball this season. The Rockies were in desperate need of a lift, and Marquez did everything in his power to push his team to victory.
“We always try to get out of that slump … especially today,” Marquez said via MLB.com. “I always go out there and try to do my best to compete.”
The victory was the third shutout for the Rockies this season, all of which have been started by Marquez.
Marquez became the fourth pitcher in club history to have three or more games of seven or more shutout innings within his first 11 starts of the year. The 24-year-old hurler joins Ubaldo Jimenez, Jason Hammel and Mike Hampton.
Tuesday’s outing was a valiant follow-up to his near no-hitter earlier in the season where he tossed a one-hit shutout versus the San Francisco Giants to snap an eight-game losing streak at the time.
With the Rockies’ again pressed with negative performance, Marquez shelled out another stellar outing, doing his part to get the club back on track.
“How he pitched tonight, for me, dictated that we were going to win the game because he was outstanding.” Manager Bud Black said via MLB.com.
Marquez’ outing in San Francisco prompted a five-game winning streak for the Rockies. Following a similar performance in Pittsburgh, the Rockies are hopeful this can generate momentum in the right direction.
Considering the rest of the starters troubles this season, Marquez has firmly solidified himself as the frontman of the Rockies’ rotation. He is the lone pitcher within the Rockies’ starting five to demonstrate consistency on the mound and has been a stabilizer when things have been tight.
Marquez signed a five-year, $43-million contract earlier this year, a deal that will keep him in a Rockies uniform throughout his prime.
If his performance this season reflects how he will pitch throughout the life of his contract, the Rockies will have one of the best pitchers in the game on one of the most team-friendly contracts in the sport.