What a Relief: Marquez, Bullpen Pitch In; Iannetta HR Ends Tropicana Drought
The Rockies figure to finalize a five-year, $43 million contract with German Marquez in the next couple of days, after they finally get to Denver and Marquez undergoes a physical.
On Wednesday, however, Marquez certainly reminded everyone why the Rockies want to make sure the Venezuelan right-hander stays in a Rockies uniform.
He worked the first seven innings, allowing just three hits, in a game the Rockies eventually won 1-0 in 11 innings thanks to four shutout innings of work from the bullpen and a Chris Iannetta home run.
It allowed the Rockies to end a four-game losing streak, and just as significant, the Rockies won their first game ever at Tropicana Field. And they did that by starting Marquez, who the Rays traded as a minor leaguer to the Rockies in the Corey Dickerson deal after the 2015 season.
The ace of the rotation, Kyle Freeland, couldn't solve the puzzle on Tuesday, and neither could the veteran of the staff, Chad Bettis, on Monday.
Marquez, however, with the assistance from the bullpen, had the answer, which isn't a big surprise.
Marquez set a franchise record with 230 strikeouts last year, and has had back-to-back seasons with winning records in his first two big-league seasons -- 11-7 in 2017 and 14-11 in 2018. His 3.77 ERA last year was the eighth lowest in franchise history for a Rockies starting pitcher.
And he did the bulk of the work on Wednesday.
The Rockies have played on the road in 46 different Major League Ballparks. The win on Wednesday against the Rays leaves Rogers Centre, the home of the AL East Toronto Blues, as the only ballpark in which the Rockies have never won a game. They are 0-9 at Rogers Centre.
And that won't change for awhile. Yes, the Rockies are playing teams from the AL East in inter-league play this year, but the Jays are coming to Coors Field for three games May 31-June 2.
Now, don't get the wrong idea. The road has not been kind to the Rockies in their existence. They have a .500 or better record against only four teams, three of which are AL teams against whom the Rockies have had limited exposure. They are 9-9 against the Mariners in Seattle (8-5 at T-Mobile Park and 1-4 at the since demolished Kingdome); 6-6 against the Orioles at Camden Yards; and 2-1 against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The only NL team the Rockies have a winning road record against is the Nationals. They are 56-43 on the road against the franchise, going 23-13 at Nationals Park, 7-4 at RFK Stadium and 26-26 at Olympic Stadium, when the Nationals were known as the Expos and played in Montreal.