German Marquez of the Colorado Rockies flirted with immortality on Wednesday afternoon at Coors Field. However, the reigning National League MVP played the role of spoiler.
That’s one of the few disappointing moments on the day for Marquez. In what will be a day he’ll long remember, he not only held the Chicago Cubs scoreless for eight innings but also drove in a pair of runs in Colorado’s 3-0 victory.
It was not only his best start of his young career but his two-run single off Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr. also represented his first-ever Major League hit and RBI.
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Work on a no-hitter and be the main generator of offense against the defending World Champions? Have a day, Mr. Marquez.
In just his 10th Major League game and seventh MLB start, the 22-year-old right-hander retired 16 consecutive Chicago Cubs during one stretch, taking a no-hit bid into the seventh inning of Wednesday’s matinee in Denver. Kris Bryant ended the no-hitter with a double down the left field line. It sucked the no-hit buzz out of LoDo but what happened next also showed a lot about Marquez.
Marquez could’ve wilted with the no-hitter gone and a runner standing on second in a 1-0 game. Instead, he simply relied on the pitching that had benefitted him so much in the game’s early stages.
The same could’ve happened in the eighth when consecutive singles gave the massive amount of Cubs fans in attendance something to cheer about. However, with runners at second and third and two outs, Marquez worked Jon Jay into a bad count and got him to hit an inning-ending grounder to Nolan Arenado.
A curveball that had more break than we had seen all season. A fastball that was well placed when needed. Control that saw Marquez walk only one batter, a first-inning free pass to Schwarber that kept the conversation about a perfect game out of the equation.
What was the final line for Marquez? Eight innings pitched (a career high), three hits allowed, one walk and a career-high-tying eight strikeouts.
So how special was Wednesday? According to Elias, Marquez was the fifth Rockies pitcher (and the sixth time overall) to toss at least six no-hit innings at Coors Field. All have happened since 2000, with Jorge De La Rosa last notching the feat on May 16, 2014.
But those were other pitchers and other years. Today was about Marquez and a Rockies team that, for the third consecutive series dating back to last season, took two of three games from the Cubs.