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Rockies 6, Cubs 5: Alan Trejo makes a difference while the bullpen hangs tough

An Alan Trejo home run gave the Rockies a lead they wouldn’t relinquish thanks to the continued efforts of the best bullpen in baseball.

The Colorado Rockies needed a bounce back game against the Chicago Cubs. It wasn’t pretty, but it was precisely what they got. Strong enough bullpen work and an offensive surge in the fourth inning put the Rockies ahead after a rough start from Germán Márquez left them trailing to start. The Rockies took the win away from the denizens of Wrigleyville 6-5 in a tense affair. The Rockies are now 5-2 through their first seven games.

Márquez gets battered

Germán Márquez was coming off the Rockies’ strongest start the first time through the rotation. Unfortunately he couldn’t carry that performance into this evening’s game. Márquez—much like Kyle Freeland last night— was battered by the Cubs batters. Largely singled to death, Márquez gave up ten hits—only three for extra bases—and four earned runs. Márquez was having difficulties with his fastball, getting hit hard and failing to generate swings and misses. He struck out just three batters and walked one. He worked through 4 13 innings and was pulled after loading the bases in the top of the fifth.

The bullpen bends but doesn’t break

Local lefty Ty Blach relieved Germán Márquez with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth inning. The first batter he faced would fly out deep to center field, ceding a run—credited to Márquez—in exchange for the out. Blach would pitch 1 23 innings in his second appearance, allowing no hits while striking out and walking one. Alex Colomé pitched a scoreless frame in the seventh, walking a batter but also accomplishing a rare strikeout. The league-best bullpen really showed cracks in the armor when Carlos Estévez pitched the eighth inning. Estévez gave up a leadoff double followed by a walk, but was bailed out by inducing a double play. With a runner at third he proceeded to walk the bases loaded. Tyler Kinley entered the game and struck out the final batter looking on three straight pitches. After the game, it was revealed that a fan had dropped their beer onto Estévez while he was warming up, causing him to have trouble seeing.

Things again got hairy in the ninth when, with two outs, closer Daniel Bard gave up a run on back-to-back doubles, and a wild pitch advanced the runner to third. Luckily he was able to end the inning with no further damage for his third save of the season. Despite the more difficult game than we’ve seen the Rockies bullpen face so far this season, they still have a league best earned run average, having only given up three total earned runs.

Alan Trejo leads the way

The Rockies found themselves down 3-0 going into the fourth inning, and with their struggles at plating runs things seemed bleak. However, the offense stepped up. Kris Bryant kicked off the inning with a single. Bryant was 2-for-4 and now has a hit in all seven of his games played in a Rockies uniform, A Ryan McMahon double moved Bryant to third and put runners in scoring position. When Elias Díaz popped out for the second out, it looked like it would be another empty inning. Then Sam Hilliard worked the count full with an absolutely excellent at-bat culminating in a two-run double. Garrett Hampson also worked the count full and drew a walk to keep the inning going. It all came down to an unlikely difference maker in young shortstop Alan Trejo, who was making his start of the season. Trejo absolutely demolished a splitter hung dead center for a three-run home run that put the Rockies ahead. CJ Cron would hit a solo home run—his third of the season—in the fifth to put the Rockies up to six runs.

Coming up next

The Rockies will play their third game of four in this series against the Cubs in another evening affair. Antonio Senzatela will take the mound for the Rockies and face off against RHP Mark Leiter Jr. Leiter Jr. hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2018. First pitch is at 6:10 PM MDT.