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The case for Germán Márquez to start the All-Star Game

Colorado Rockies news and links for Sunday, July 11, 2021

When Germán Márquez called it a day after throwing six strong innings against the St. Louis Cardinals that included 11 strikeouts, Bud Black wrapped his arm around the young starter to inform him that he was an All-Star. Márquez is just the eighth pitcher, and the sixth starter, in Rockies history to make the All-Star Game. With the event occurring in Denver, there is a case to be made that Márquez should get the nod from Dodgers manager Dave Roberts as the starting pitcher for the National League.

“By default” the two greatest words in the English language.

The thing about the All-Star Game is the likelihood that there will always be replacements and opt-outs. Such is the case this season, especially among the National League starting pitchers as four replacements were recently added to the roster. Jacob deGrom was naturally assumed to be the one to start the game, but he will not be participating in the All-Star Game due to the fact that he is scheduled to pitch on Sunday prior to the event.

Both Brandon Woodruff and Kevin Gausman won’t be available for the game because of their pitching schedules and Yu Darvish is dealing with an injury that will prevent him from pitching. Márquez pitched on Saturday in a dominant performance over San Diego, and the All-Star Game falls in line with when he would throw a bullpen to prep for his next start. He’d be on short rest, but it’s conceivable that he would be ready to pitch an inning or two on Tuesday.

Zack Wheeler, Corbin Burnes, and Trevor Rogers are the only other top-on-the-line options of the original selections besides Márquez. While they all have seen a bit more success on paper than Márquez, the fact that sets him apart is that it’s his home ballpark and he has a proven track record at home, which could create a window of opportunity and beat out the other starters.

The Coors effect

Márquez has already established himself as one the best pitchers in franchise history. His ability to conquer Coors Field could be reason enough to give him the start for the All-Star Game in his home ballpark. In 63 games at Coors Field, Márquez has pitched to a 4.70 ERA and tallied 384 strikeouts on his way to a 25-16 record. Most notable is his ability to limit home runs as Márquez has allowed a measly 1.59 home runs per nine innings.

Let’s not forget what he has done at home this season alone. In 70 innings at home, Márquez has allowed just 24 runs for a 3.06 ERA. He has allowed just three home runs and held opponents to a .198 batting average in one of the most difficult parks for a pitcher to be effective.

Wheeler and Burnes haven’t fared well in their limited starts at Coors Field. In two appearances in Denver, Burnes has allowed six runs on 12 hits in just seven innings of work for a 7.36 ERA. Wheeler has made just one forgettable start in Denver where he allowed seven runs (four earned) on six hits in just four innings of work. With the unique nature of Coors Field, it makes more sense to send a seasoned veteran to the mound that has conquered the beast that has consumed so many before him.

A summer to remember

Since the first day of June, there has hardly been a pitcher as good as Germán Márquez. Over the past month and a half, Márquez is among the National League leaders in innings pitched (54.0), earned run average (2.17), fWAR( 2.0), ground ball rate (58.7%), home run rate (0.33), and opponent batting average (.164). He also managed to throw the first “Maddux” game this season during his one-hit complete-game shutout against the Pirates.

Wheeler has kept pace with Márquez in most of these categories, but not to the level of dominance that Márquez has displayed on the mound. If you were to just look at the numbers then Wheeler could easily fill in for deGrom, but Márquez displays a certain poise on the mound that propels him to success each and every start. He is one of the classic bulldogs on the mound and you would witness something incredible every time.

Let’s get sentimental

I direct this portion to Dave Roberts himself. Listen, Dave, Márquez deserves to start the All-Star Game. Yes, there are a couple of guys that have some better overall numbers and success throughout the season, but that doesn’t matter. You know better than anyone else how good this kid is after seeing him for a few games every year and the feats he has accomplished at Coors Field.

You know that your friend Bud Black would love to see his own player pitch in front of a sellout crowd for the whole world to see. You know how much it would mean to Colorado Rockies fans to see their guy on the mound in their house because we’ve suffered quite a bit this season and it would be nice to have that bright spot. If it helps sweeten the deal, I won’t bad mouth the Dodgers during the next series in Colorado.

We won’t know the starters until Monday, but like many Rockies fans, I will eagerly wait and see if our very own Germán Márquez takes the hill to face the best players the American League has to offer because, like many of you, I know he deserves it.

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Home Run Derby participants... ranked |

In case you hadn’t heard, Trevor Story is competing with sluggers such as Shohei Ohtani and Joey Gallo in the Home Run Derby this year. Will Leitch gives a breakdown of the participants and his rankings for who is likely to win the event. Story comes in at number six, with Shohei Ohtani coming out on top of the rankings.

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Patrick Saunders lays out the three big decisions the Rockies have in the near future. The draft, the trade deadline, and the hiring of a new general manager are looming over the team and it’s critical that they make productive decisions with each venture if they want any chance of steering this team back in the right direction.

On the farm

Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes 8, Round Rock Express 6

Six relievers held Round Rock at bay after Isotopes starter Dereck Rodríguez lasted just 2 23 innings, giving up six runs on seven hits, including three home runs. In 6 13 innings of relief, Albuquerque allowed just three hits and no runs. Offensively, Albuquerque scored in each of the first four innings for a grand total of eight runs. Taylor Motter and Alan Trejo led the Isotopes offense with multi-hit nights and combining to drive in five of the team’s eight runs.

Double-A: Portland Sea Dogs 8, Hartford Yard Goats 2 (Game 1)

Hartford had trouble getting the offense going in game one of the doubleheader as they managed only two runs on three hits in the loss to the Portland Sea Dogs. Elehuris Montero hit his 12th home run of the season to get Hartford on the board in the second and Max George hit his fifth long ball in the fifth inning. Garrett Schilling started the game for Hartford and lasted just two outs into the second inning, allowing seven runs on four hits with an unsightly five walks issued to record his sixth loss of the year.

Portland Sea Dogs 5, Hartford Yard Goats 3 (Game 2)

Sean Bouchard and Taylor Snyder got Hartford off to a quick start with a pair of run-scoring doubles to start the second game, but the offense would go quiet until Snyder hit his 16th home run of the season with two outs in the seventh. David Hill took the loss but gave his team some length off the mound, going five innings but allowing four runs, three earned, on six hits.

High-A: Vancouver Canadians 5, Spokane Indians 3

Two runs in the bottom of the eighth helped Vancouver secure the victory over Spokane in a tightly contested ball game. Trent Fennell tossed five innings for Spokane, limiting the opposition to two runs on five hits. Kyle Datres had a pair of hits and drove in two for Spokane to highlight the offense, but Vancouver broke a 3-3 tie by scoring a pair of runs off of Stephen Jones who takes his first loss of the season.

Low-A: Fresno Grizzlies 5, San Jose Giants 0

Stellar pitching was more than enough as the Fresno Grizzlies shut out the San Jose Giants 5-0. Sam Weatherly tossed six strong innings for Fresno, scattering two hits while striking out seven. Eddy Diaz and Ezequiel Tovar both drove in a pair for their club, with all but two Grizzlies recording a hit on the night.

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