As strange as it may sound, Germán Márquez is already in his seventh season with the Colorado Rockies and is still just 27 years old.
It may also come as a surprise to realize that he’s the third-longest tenured member of the active roster behind only Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Estévez.
Last season, Márquez had a 5.56 ERA through his first nine starts. Then, he ripped off nine outstanding performances of 6 or more innings with two or less earned up runs in his next ten outings.
Included during that stretch were a pair of no-hit bids in back-to-back starts.
On June 23, he didn’t surrender his first hit until the sixth-inning on the road against the Seattle Mariners.
“I thought with 10 outs left that it might happen,” Bud Black said of the potential no-hitter.
Well, in his next time out, it nearly did.
Going into the ninth-inning of his June 30 start, only three outs away from joining Ubaldo Jiménez as the only Rockie to ever throw a no-hitter and becoming the first to do it at Coors Field, a single by Pirates’ left fielder Ka’ai Tom erased Germán’s dance with destiny.
With those consecutive outings giving him even more national recognition, Márquez became a first time All-Star and only the sixth Rockies’ starting pitcher to represent the organization in the Midsummer Classic.
Unfortunately, the Venezuela born right-hander has been unable to pick up where he left off in 2022. Amongst the 60 who qualify for the ERA title – a pitcher needs to average one inning per team game played – Márquez has the second-worst earned run average for a starter.
Though his 2022 has produced just four quality starts – six or more innings pitched and three or more earned runs allowed – two of those have come in his last two times on the bump.
Both of those starts performances were on the road and against a pair of National League West rivals poised to make the postseason.
Can this year mirror last year with the rough start and subsequent rebound thanks to ace-like abilities?
Saturday’s game against the San Diego Padres could do even more wonders for a man with the highest ceiling amongst Colorado’s rotation.
Patrick Lyons: I don’t know if you’ve gotten into hockey or not, but have you enjoyed seeing the Colorado Avalanche make it this deep into the playoffs?
Germán Márquez: Yes. You have to support your city or community. I’m so happy for them to be in the Stanley Cup Final. I wish them the best. I hope they win it.
Lyons: Did you turn into a little bit of a hockey fan here recently?
Márquez: I haven’t gone to a game yet, but I hope to go next season.
Lyons: Back in Venezuela, I know baseball and basketball are two of the more popular sports there, right?
Márquez: Yeah, we do that a lot. But my hometown is a big soccer city. So we have a pretty good stadium there. And I liked basketball and soccer growing up.
Lyons: I just learned that Venezuela is the only country in South America that has never qualified for the World Cup.
Márquez: They haven’t. No. I know. We’ve been close, but that is what it is.
Lyons: That’s heartbreaking.
Márquez: We have a hard division. We play Brazil. We have Argentina, Chile. CONMEBOL is the hardest division.
Lyons: Well, I’d venture to say this rotation has been hard to crack right now with six starters since Ryan Feltner started showing his potential. Has that been a good thing for you guys?
Márquez: I like it. Competition is always good because we are working. We’re going out there to give it our best with the team.
Lyons: You’ve had back-to-back solid starts here. Are you beginning to feel like you have a little swagger back?
Márquez: Yeah, a little confidence. I needed it because I was battling a lot. But I feel a little better with everything. So, I’m gonna keep my plan and keep throwing some good games.
Lyons: Do you think having a bobblehead helps with that swagger?
— DNVR Rockies (@DNVR_Rockies) June 17, 2022
Márquez: That’s nice. (Saturday) is gonna be big day.
Lyons: You just got to look at your bobblehead for the first time in that All-Star uniform. What did you think? Fair resemblance?
Márquez: I like it. It’s pretty nice. It looks like me. Yeah.
Lyons: I guess everyone in your family knows what they’ll be getting from you over the holidays.
Márquez: Ha ha. Yeah.