The Colorado Rockies believed in German Marquez when they signed him to a long-term contract in April 2019. So confident in him, the Rockies named him the 2020 Opening Day starter.
In two starts, the 25-year-old Marquez has rewarded that belief. He is 1-1 with a 1.54 ERA heading into his third start of the season, Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants in Denver.
San Francisco has not announced a starter for the second game of the four-game series. Colorado took the first game, 7-6, on Monday night for its seventh win in the past eight games.
Marquez is no stranger to the National League West Division rivals, going 2-4 with a 6.60 ERA (43 2/3 innings pitched, 32 earned runs) in eight starts against the Giants.
While San Francisco has had success against the right-hander, the way Marquez is pitching it might be tough for the hitters to repeat the success they had against Chi Chi Gonzalez, Colorado’s starter on Monday. Gonzalez was lifted after three innings, but the Rockies’ ace is in a groove.
“Marquez is a stud up there,” Colorado catcher Tony Wolters said recently. “He’s really loose. He’s very in the moment. He can read hitters. And he believes in his stuff.”
Marquez can dial up a mid-90s fastball, and breaking balls and off-speed pitches have been effective this season.
“I’ve been mixing pretty good, but that comes from my fastball command,” Marquez said. “If my fastball command is there, my other pitches are going to be there, too.”
One of the Giants who Marquez will try to contain is outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, who is off to a hot start on the season. He is hitting .333 in the first 11 games, has reached base 25 times — most in the majors — and he hit his third homer of the season on Monday night.
Yastrzemski has helped to lead the surprising Giants to a competitive start to the shortened season. San Francisco, which is rebuilding after winning three World Series titles from 2010 to 2014, is 5-6 after dropping the past two games.
“He just looks like a great all-around player right now,” manager Gabe Kapler said, “and it’s starting to seem like this is who Yaz is.”
Yastrzemski, 29, was mired in the Baltimore minor-league system until the Orioles dealt him to San Francisco in March 2019. He made his major-league debut last season and smacked 21 homers in just 371 at-bats.
After waiting so long to get his shot, Yastrzemski isn’t wasting his opportunity.
“In order to be successful in this game, you have to think you’re the best player on the field,” Yastrzemski said recently. “So if you want to play against the best, you want that challenge. And to be in a situation of being in the big leagues right now and the path that I’ve taken, I’m just super grateful every day.”
–Field Level Media