The Colorado Rockies pitching staff is having one of its finest seasons. With a shift in attitude to approaching altitude, local boy Kyle Freeland has captained bullpen coach Darren Holmes‘ philosophy, “Coors Field doesn’t eliminate success. Coors Field eliminates the weak.”
Freeland, like most of the Colorado Rockies pitchers in 2018, has seemingly not only figured out Coors Field — and the challenges that come with pitching at altitude — but has eliminated the park from even being a valid excuse.
The same has not been true with German Marquez. The 23-year-old righty is having phenomenal season with just a small stain … his home starts haven’t been as dominant as his road ones.
It’s key to note before getting into this that the numbers for Marquez as a whole are very good and his road starts have been elite, which is part of the reason is just decent home starts even stand out.
That said, Marquez has a 7-3 record with a 2.89 ERA on the road and a 4-6 record with a 6.42 ERA at home. The biggest peripheral standout beyond that is a walk rate per nine that increases with elevation from 2.44 to 3.79. Part of that is that he’s walking more batters — obviously — while the other part is that he’s not going as deep into his starts at home, lasting only 5.1 innings rather than the 6.1 innings when he is out on the road.
But going back to the walk thing which would stop this whole story in its tracks, his walk rate is only three percent higher at home and his ball to strike ratio is essentially the same so that’s not really a viable answer.
So what is it? Let’s take a look.