Colorado Rockies morning after: 3 thoughts from Tuesday’s win
By Kevin Henry
Some thoughts after the Colorado Rockies took a 7-3 decision from the Detroit Tigers at Coors Field on Tuesday night.
With the Colorado Rockies offense seemingly stuck at a three-run maximum (at least early in the contest), it makes nights like the one that German Marquez spun together on Tuesday even more meaningful.
Marquez held the Tigers down for 6.1 innings before Mikie Mahtook launched a two-run homer over the left field fence to tie the game at 3. One mistake turned what had been a pretty dominating performance by the 22-year-old right-hander, who tied his career-high with 10 strikeouts and retired 11 consecutive batters between the first and fifth innings.
Of the 87 pitches that Marquez threw against the Tigers, 63 went for strikes. He was efficient, working with Jonathan Lucroy on an impressive game plan to keep Detroit off balance for the majority of the game.
Afterwards, Lucroy gushed praise for Marquez.
"“He’s the best pitcher I’ve ever caught at that age, his age,” Lucroy told Rox Pile and others. “I keep thinking his last name, Marquez, I think Marquis when I look at his name. He’s a marquis pitcher. He’s going to be. I really believe that. He’s going to continue to get better. Whenever the guy throws, the ball just comes out of his hand. Not many guys throw a ball like he does. I’ve been privileged to be around a lot and ball comes out of his hand a little different. He’s just going to continue to get better. I’m telling you, this kid is going to be special.”"
More from Rox Pile
- A Colorado Rockies Thanksgiving
- Colorado Rockies: What if Todd Helton had played football instead?
- Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the season
- Colorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers series
- Colorado Rockies: Has Sean Bouchard earned a second look in 2023?
However, back-to-back doubles in the fifth netted Detroit a run and Mahtook landed the punch that would take the energy out of the Colorado faithful in the seventh.
As we noted yesterday, Marquez is one of three Colorado pitchers to go over 2,000 pitches this season. Unlike Antonio Senzatela, who struggled with command all night on Monday, Marquez was potent until a seventh inning that saw the four Tigers he faced in the frame go double, fielder’s choice, home run and single.
Speaking of Lucroy, he has certainly become the catcher the Rockies hoped they were obtaining when they acquired him at the trade deadline. He entered Tuesday’s game hitting .290 while in 20 games in a Rockies uniform and added a couple of singles against the Tigers.
His seventh-inning single at the end of an 11-pitch at-bat to start the inning would produce what would be the game-winning run. He hustled to third on a single by Trevor Story and came home on the deep sacrifice fly to center by Carlos Gonzalez.
"“It’s just battle. Not giving at-bats away. Sooner or later, the pitcher is going to make a mistake,” Lucroy told Rox Pile and others."
But Lucroy isn’t just getting things done at the plate. He is working wonders behind the dish as well, working with Colorado’s young rotation and providing veteran leadership, things that can’t be underrated as the team moves toward the postseason.
The big hit
With one swing of the bat, Nolan Arenado not only gave the Rockies some cushion on the scoreboard but released a whole heap of frustration.
Mired in a slump with runners in scoring position and frustrated enough to slam his bat into the turf on more than one occasion recently, Arenado lifted an 0-1 pitch from Detroit reliever Warwick Saupold (one of the greatest names in Major League Baseball, by the way) for a three-run homer. It was his 30th of the season and gave the Rockies a 7-3 advantage.
Arenado had been just two for his last 19 with runners in scoring position before his seventh-inning blast that capped a four-run frame.
Next: Why the Rockies will make the 2017 postseason
"“Yesterday, I felt like I let the team down with my bases-loaded at-bat where I struck out,” Arenado told Rox Pile and others. “It was great to be able to come up and help them out today. It feels good. I feel like I’ve been taking good swings. I’ve lined out a couple of times. I’m staying the course. Trying not to get down. There’s only a month left. Last thing I want to do is start getting down on myself.”"