Marquez gets out of jam
Pitcher got critical third out in fifth inning with bases loaded
German Marquez’s pitching line from Thursday afternoon’s no-decision at Coors Field wasn’t spectacular, and it wasn’t terrible, either: His three earned runs over six innings can be considered a quality start, even if those numbers are the baselines for determining the statistic.
Despite the lack of pizzaz, the right-hander faced a huge moment of truth during the Rockies’ eventual 5-4 walk-off win against the Mets.
That moment came in the fifth inning. The Mets had the bases loaded with one out and had already scored one run in the frame to even the game at 2-2. Stepping to the plate next was Yoenis Cespedes, who took Marquez deep 440 feet to left the previous inning.
Marquez fed Cespedes three straight curveballs, two of which the outfielder fouled off, before blowing a 99 mph fastball by him to get the strikeout. The rookie then induced a Jay Bruce lineout to end the threat and punctuate a bear-down inning that speaks to the pitcher’s evolving maturity.
“There comes a time when a pitcher has to make a pitch at a critical moment, and Marquez did today,” manager Bud Black said. “That’s a great sign of a guy who’s developing as a pitcher.”
Marquez noted he had a little “something extra” on the decisive heater to Cespedes, who had homered on a fastball.
“When Cespedes hit the homer earlier in the game, Marquez just didn’t quite get the fastball to the location he wanted,” Black said. “It was a little bit up when he tried to run it down and in, and Cespedes can get on the fastball. By contrast the punch out was elevated, and in on the hands.”
And with improving stats since the all-star break — the first half of the season he posted a 4.36 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, while in his four second-half starts he has a 3.38 ERA and 1.01 WHIP — Marquez’s performance in the series finale against New York has his team’s newest member believing in his ability to make an impact down the stretch.
“He gave us a chance to win today, and that’s what’s most important,” said catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who made his first start for the club. “He kept them from having that big inning, and to me, that’s really what won the game for us.”