Germán Márquez (4-6, 4.60 ERA) seemed to really be finding his groove lately, pitching to a 1.89 ERA over his previous six starts before getting beat up by the Cincinnati Reds this past Saturday. The eight earned runs allowed matched his season high, and making adjustments will be paramount to the Venezuelan righty’s success on Thursday. After the outing, Márquez said it was a “rough outing,” and “I have to take that outing off my brain and be ready for the next one.” It’s true that most of the hits allowed were singles or seeing-eye doubles. The Brewers’ 2.10 team batting average is the lowest in the National League, so now’s as good a time as any to refresh and lock back in to his dominant ways.
The Brewers, meanwhile, were just swept by those same Cincinnati Reds at home in Milwaukee. They’ll hope a change of scenery will help alleviate their offensive woes, as they scored just four runs combined in the three-game series. Brandon Woodruff (5-2, 1.52 ERA) is as good a starter as any to begin the series in Colorado, as their ace has been very effective thus far in 2021. Woodruff has been hit hard at altitude before, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits in three-plus innings in 2018, but he’s confident he can avoid such a fate this time around,
“I think the worst thing you can do is overthink it,” said Woodruff of pitching at altitude. “I’m not going to change necessarily what I do in game planning and pitch usage, pitch-wise.”
Offensively, keep an eye on Raimel Tapia. His career-high hitting streak is now at 13 games after going 3-for-5 in the win on Wednesday. He’s never faced Woodruff before, but the right-left matchup bodes well for him getting the start (though it’s interesting to note that Tapia is actually hitting lefties better than righties this season!). Elías Díaz is 4-for-10 in his career vs Woodruff, and with him hitting his second home run of the season on Wednesday, he may get a start as well.
The Brewers’ offense isn’t exactly menacing when compared to teams like the Padres and Reds, but there are some standouts in their lineup. Former NL MVP Christian Yelich is having a down season by his lofty standards (.245 AVG, 3 HRs), but he’s their biggest bat and a force to be reckoned with. Catcher Manuel Piña is 1-for-8 in his at-bats vs Márquez, and no other Brewer has more than three at-bats.
First Pitch: 6:40P.M. MDT
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain; MLB.tv
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)