The Colorado Rockies that were promised before the year were on display Saturday.
Elite bats, solid pitching and flawless fielding all played a part in the 11-4 victory over the Miami Marlins.
Dating back to the start of July, it’s only the third series win for the Rockies. In that same span, they’ve gone 12-27.
Last year, en route to their second consecutive playoff berth, the Rockies went 24-15 in that same stretch.
The first win of the series served as the first pair of back-to-back wins for the club in August. You’d have to go back to June 20 to find the last time the Rockies had won three consecutive contests.
Ahead are takeaways from the victory.
Marquez settles rough waters, sinks Marlins’ hopes
No team hits more groundballs than the Miami Marlins. Jon Gray took advantage of it in his eight shutout innings Friday. The plan was different for German Marquez.
Instead of throwing low strikes that the Marlins would drive into the dirt, Marquez spun his knuckle curve past their bats altogether. Each of the first six outs he recorded was a strikeout. Of them, five were on a curveball.
Among the mess of punchouts, Marquez allowed a leadoff home run to start the contest. It was the 27th homer that he’s given up this year. The total further increased his career-high.
In the rest of his start, Marquez battled through traffic. He refused to allow a high-scoring inning for the Marlins but faced the possibility often.
Marquez allowed a baserunner in only one of the three innings after his strikeout spree. With the addition of those aforementioned frames, he allowed at least one Marlins’ hitter to reach in three of his five injury-shortened innings.
For the second time in his last four starts, Marquez was forced to exit early with cramps.
The young hurler allowed two earned runs and five hits. Marquez’ season earned run average sunk to 4.71 after the start.
Tapia makes Rockies’ play of the year
Much has been said about Raimel Tapia’s erratic play in the outfield. Missed cut-off men and aggressive play have simply become part of his game.
In the midst of a two-run game, that hard-nosed style ensured the best play of the youngster’s career thus far:
Be On The Lookout: Stolen Home Run
Suspect last seen at the corner of 20th & Blake wearing purple pinstripes.
He is described as “Con Mucho Swagger” and responds to "El Cangrejo" 🦀 pic.twitter.com/R6qu1WhxGT
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 18, 2019
Per Statcast, the ball had an expected batting average of .520 and flew 426 feet before Tapia snagged it.
The catch largely overshadowed what’s been a solid second half at the plate for Tapia. Since the All-Star break, he’s hit .351 – the top mark on the club.
McMahon continues home-run binge
Ryan McMahon has come through for Rockies’ fans that have purchased a ticket in any of the last three days. In each contest, he’s hit a home run.
For his fourth homer in the last five games, McMahon made sure it wasn’t a wall scrapper:
Three games, three homers.
This one comes with a side of taco's 🌮 pic.twitter.com/xcehUF6yYU
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 18, 2019
Later, McMahon tacked on yet another home run to add insult to injury for the Marlins.
McMahon has put himself in elite company in recent weeks. Since the All-Star break, he leads the club with 27 runs driven in and 10 long balls. In his career, 10 of his 22 home runs have come in the sixth-inning-or-later.
The breakout year for McMahon has now produced 17 home runs, 63 RBIs and 37 extra-base hits – all career-high totals.
He used to be the heir apparent to Nolan Arenado at third. McMahon has chosen to take over the second base spot instead with the former already locked up to an eight-year deal.
It’s an extra great day to be a Story
Teddie Story – mother of Trevor Story – is a unique follow for any Rockies’ pundits on Twitter. Whenever the shortstop does something special, the caption is always: “It’s a great day to be a Story.”
A string of extra-base hits after the All-Star break has made each day even more special.
Since the Midsummer Classic, no player in the NL has racked up more extra-base hits than Story (24). The large sum is part of 39 total hits for the infielder after the break.
Part of Story’s total came on a two-run homer to put the Rockies up 4-1:
— Strand Sport Stats (@StrandStats) August 18, 2019
Story went 2-for-2 outside of his 28th long ball of the year.
He’s racked up 65 extra-base hits, a career-high .293 average and a .575 slugging percentage this year. Story ranks top-10 in average and top-three in both extra-base hits and slugging among shortstops with 400-or-more at-bats.