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DENVER – Anyone who was paying close attention to the Colorado Rockies coming into Wednesday’s matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies knew that starting pitcher German Marquez was on the brink of history.
He sat just four strikeouts shy of tying, and five of breaking, Ubaldo Jimenez’ franchise record for strikeouts in a single season, which stood at 214.
What nobody could have known, however, was that in pursuit of that already mightily impressive accomplishment, Marquez would do something arguably even more impressive.
He wasted no time in Marqing his name into the record books in a couple of places first by striking out the first five batters of the game, which gave him the organizational standard, then by K’ing three more to match the modern-day (since 1900) record for strikeouts to begin a game with eight.
This feat was also accomplished by Jacob DeGrom in 2014 Jim Deshais in 1986.
Oddly enough, it was pitcher Nick Pivetta who broke up the party by hitting a weak grounder back to the mound. In a twist of irony, after throwing 27 of his first 31 pitches for strikes, Marquez was unable to fire a strike to first base, instead short hopping one that allowed the Phillies first base runner.
Marquez then walked Cesar Hernandez but, of course, came back to strike out Carlos Santana giving him nine punchouts among the first 11 batters he faced.
Earlier this month, Marquez also broke Pedro Astacio’s record for the most strikeouts over a four-game span. He has been one of the best pitchers in the National League in the second half by any measure, but obviously, has become an artist with the swing-and-miss.
You can see a detailing of his progress throughout the season, especially the development of his breaking pitches, in this film room from Rich Allen.
And, as Tony Wolters told us on a recent episode of the BSN Rockies Podcast, Colorado only expects this kid to keep getting better.