If German Márquez is going to win a Cy Young Award, he’s going to have to pitch deep into ballgames and carve up opposing hitters via the strikeout.
The 25-year-old starter did exactly that against San Francisco through 7.1 innings with nine K’s to just one walk in Colorado’s 5-2 victory.
It’s their fourth consecutive win, putting the team at 8-2 through their first 10 games for only the second time in franchise history.
Entering Tuesday’s game, it would have appeared that Márquez had been owned by the Giants when glancing at his 2-4 record with a 6.60 ERA through nine starts against the Bay Area ball club. However, 11 of his 33 runs allowed came in his last start against San Francisco.
Prior to that July 15, 2019 game, the Venezuelan hurler was 2-1 with a 2.36 ERA in his four prior starts, including his first and only complete game shutout.
Márquez pitched much more like that version of himself and gave up two earned runs thanks to only one extra-base hit – all during fifth – to an offense averaging nearly seven runs per game in the past week.
The small outburst came on an unusual play where Steven Duggar hit a deep fly originally called a home run. Upon replay, it was overruled as the ball simply never left the park. Rather, it hit directly atop the yellow demarkation line and improbably bounced back into play.
Yency Almonte earned his first career save in 1.2 innings pitched, managing to coax two double plays including one that erased two base runners with out in the eighth.
On offense, the Rockies managed only six hits, but each one was timely. The run scoring was manufactured on two singles, a fielder’s choice, a sacrifice fly, and a Nolan Arenado solo home run.
Player of the Game: German Márquez
Márquez was dealing immediately upon his first pitch strike to Mike Yastrzemski. In fact, it would be 17-straight first pitch strikes to open the game, setting a franchise record.
He was efficient throughout each inning, throwing 74 of 101 pitches for strikes. Even during the two-run fifth, he threw only 20 pitches and never got above 14 in any other inning.
Turning Point: Almonte throws one pitch to neutralize jam
When Márquez was given the opportunity to get through the Giants order for a fourth time, Yastrzemski and Alex Dickerson were waiting with bated breath. Yaz drew a walk and Dickerson singled to left field to end the night for Márquez.
With runners on first and second and the tying run at the plate, Almonte’s four-seam fastball was pounded into the ground by Brandon Belt to start the 4-6-3 double play that ended the inning the final threat to Colorado’s victory.
Defensive Moment: Arenado makes full-extension grab
The all-out diving stop of Evan Longoria’s line drive was just another highlight for the inevitable eighth Gold Glove Award for Nolan Arenado. The 90mph shot had an expected batting average of .620 according to StatCast before the three-time Platinum Glove Award winner erased it from play.
- Giants’ starting pitcher Kevin Gausman – a Centennial, Colorado native and graduate of Grandview High School – made his first career appearance at Coors Field. His only career outing against the Rockies came April 28, 2019 as a member of Atlanta following six seasons with the American League’s Baltimore Orioles.
- San Francisco had homered in 13-straight games at Coors Field dating back to September 3, 2018, their longest such stretch in Colorado, before being held to a double as their lone extra-base hit.
- A few Giants have enjoyed success in their career against Rockies starter German Márquez, including Brandon Crawford (.421, 8-for-19 with one triple and one home run), Brandon Belt (.438, 7-for-16 with one double and two triples) and Hunter Pence (.417, 5-for-12 with two home runs). On Tuesday night, Pence did not start and the infield duo went just 2-for-6 with a pair of singles.
- Márquez is now 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA (19.0 IP, 4 ER), five walks and 23 strikeouts through his first three starts and has limited opponents to a .171 batting average. His 1.89 ERA is the seventh-lowest through three starts in franchise history and the lowest since Jhoulys Chacin posted a 1.64 ERA through his first three starts in 2011.
- Charlie Blackmon extended his current hitting streak to eight games after going 2-for-3 with one run and two RBI, his sixth multi-hit game during this span. He’s now batting .485 (16-for-33) with seven runs, two doubles, one home run, 11 RBI and one walk over the streak.
- Matt Kemp now has at least one RBI in all six of his starts after driving in a run on an RBI groundout.