DENVER — German Marquez became the second youngest pitcher in franchise history to record a win and the Colorado Rockies provided a ton of offensive fireworks in an 11-1 victory over the postseason-hopeful St. Louis Cardinals.
Jamey Wright earned a win when he was 21 years, 206 days old on July 17, 1996, vs. the San Francisco Giants. Marquez is 21 years, 212 days old today, just six days too young to claim the record.
He’s the third oldest Rockie to start a game, behind Wright and Franklin Morales.
The Rockies dynamic duo was at it again in the bottom of the first, Charlie Blackmon scoring the first run of a game for approximately the billionth time this season. He singled and moved to third on a botched pickoff attempt, coming in on a sac fly from the peanut butter to his jelly, DJ LeMahieu.
Marquez gave up his first “Coors Field run” when Jeremy Hazelbaker “doubled” on a broken bat blooper to left field then came in to score on consecutive sacrifices. It was exactly the type of thing that a young pitcher needs to get used to in this park and precisely why the Rockies wanted to get him out there for a multiple-inning experience.
The Rockies offense exploded in the bottom of the second and it actually could have been much worse for the Cardinals. Jordan Patterson began things with the first hit of his MLB career, a single up the middle, followed by a single from Daniel Descalso to right that moved Patterson to third.
Marquez did his part to lay a nice sac bunt down the first base line, but pitcher Luke Weaver spun and made a perfect throw to nail Patterson at the plate. It was easily the best moment of the inning for Weaver.
Blackmon delivered his 76th RBI of the season when he singled in Descalso in the ensuing at-bat and after Weaver was able to get LeMahieu to line out to deep right-center, he gave the old unintentional intentional walk to Carlos Gonzalez on four pitches. Nolan Arenado took the very next pitch Weaver threw 424 feet for his 39th home run of the season, giving the Rockies a 6-1 lead.
Marquez stayed on to pitch through the fifth, ultimately earning the first win of his MLB career. His final line: 5 IP, 4H, 1ER, 1BB, 3 K, he threw 82 pitches, 50 for strikes. It was a pretty incredible start considering his age, the ballpark, the level of talent on the opposing team, and the nature of the only run he surrendered. Time will tell if we look back on the trade that sent Corey Dickerson to Tampa Bay and brought Jake McGee to Colorado and think of it as the “German Marquez trade” but for now, he looks like yet another exciting arm to go along with Jon Gray, Jeff Hoffman, and the rest of the gang.
Chris Rusin replaced him and looked fantastic through two innings, striking out five hitters and allowing just two singles.
The Rockies got some insurance runs in the seventh, beginning again with Blackmon and LeMahieu, this time with back-to-back doubles. LeMahieu came in on a single by Parra after an intentional walk to Arenado who scored on Tom Murphy‘s fifth home run of the season. He’s had only 28 at-bats. The blast put the Rockies up 11-1 and that was the final as the Rockies avoided the sweep with an emphatic win.
By the Numbers
128 – With his grand slam in the second, Nolan Arenado pushed hit MLB-leading RBI total to 128.
39 – The grand slam was also Arenado’s NL-leading 39th home run of the year. It was the fourth grand slam of his career, having one in each season he has played thus far.
76 – Charlie Blackmon, with a single in the bottom of the second inning, extend his franchise-best mark in RBI from the leadoff spot to 76.
37 – DJ LeMahieu singled in the bottom of the fourth, extending his career-best on-base streak to 37 games.
.351 – With his RBI double in the seventh LeMahieu raised his batting average to .351. He is now four points ahead of Daniel Murphy of the Washington Nationals — who is hitting .347 — for the National League batting title.
1 – German Marquez has one MLB win. At 21-years-old, he became the youngest Rockie pitcher ever to record a win.