Colorado Rockies: German Marquez and the tale of the infected tooth
By Kevin Henry
Go to any Colorado Rockies game at Coors Field and, at some point, during the contest, the Comfort Dental Tooth Trot will be a part of the in-game entertainment. In case you have never seen the event, a tooth, toothbrush and toothpaste make their way on the dirt behind the playing surface from third to first base in an effort to cross the line first.
On April 19, as he pitched against the Philadelphia Phillies, Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Márquez was in no mood to see the Tooth Trot. He has nothing against the characters but the subject matter hit just a little too close for him on that night. After all, he was already dealing with an infected tooth that was causing him severe pain while he was navigating his way through his fifth start of the season.
Márquez said he first felt pain the night before the start and told media members he decided not to tell manager Bud Black about it, choosing instead to try to tough it out. However, his secret didn’t stay a secret for long as one of the trainers tipped Black off that Márquez was dealing with a great deal of pain.
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“I lost my focus a little bit because of the pain. I just was competing. That was what was in my mind,” Márquez told me on Tuesday afternoon.
As the pain increased, so did Márquez’s determination to battle through it. He finished five innings, giving up just two runs and scattering 10 hits as Colorado eventually notched a 4-3 win over the Phillies in 12 innings.
"“Like most Major League players, there are a great deal who think they can pitch through a great deal of discomfort or soreness or pain,” Black said. “In this case, it was a toothache. His tooth hurt. It was bothering him the whole time he was out there. We talked before the game and, a lot of times, these things heighten your focus when you have a little bit of soreness. You can concentrate on what your job is. German battled through a lot of traffic and made pitches when he needed to.”"
After the start, Márquez visited the dentist and had the troublesome tooth extracted. He enters Wednesday’s home start against the Washington Nationals with a clean bill of health from the dentist.
I asked Márquez if he was a guy who liked going to the dentist.
“Not too much,” Marquez smiled.
A smile is always a good thing to flash, especially when you know that a painful night on the mound is well behind you.