Despite jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, Germán Marquez was hit hard and the bullpen got hit even harder as the Phillies had a three-run fourth inning and a five-run fourth on their way to a victory on Wednesday afternoon. Colorado had two mini rallies to stay in the game, but went hitless in the eighth and ninth.
The Phillies offense finally lived up to its billing with Nick Castellanos, Alex Bohm, Kyle Schwarber, and Johan Camargo all hitting home runs. The Rockies didn’t go yard, but C.J. Cron continued his powerful hitting with a two-run double and Ryan McMahon hit a pair of doubles and drove in three runs.
It just wasn’t enough to come back.
A down day for the bullpen
It had to happen sometime. Even if the Rockies bullpen is much improved from last season, in the words of Van Morrison, there will be days like this.
After giving up a total of 11 runs in 43 innings of work through the Rockies first 11 games of the season, the bullpen had its worst inning of the season when they gave up a five-spot in the seventh inning. With a tied game at 4-all, Jhoulys Chacín walked Rhys Hoskins to start the inning and then gave up singles to Bryce Harper and Castellanos to load the bases with no outs. Chacín then struck out Realmuto to put the Rockies one double play away from ending the inning. But that didn’t happen.
Instead, Lucas Gilbreath entered the game in his 2022 debut after returning from the COVID-19 IL on Tuesday. His second pitch hit Kyle Schwarber’s jersey to walk in a run and then Alec Bohm hit a sac fly. Things were looking up with two outs, but that’s when Johan Camargo hit a three-run homer to put the Phillies up 9-4.
“The seventh got away from us,” manager Bud Black said in the postgame press conference. “It was a rough day for Lucas. It looked to me like he was overthrowing the ball—throwing not pitching.”
Robert Stephenson pitched a scoreless eighth inning, giving up one hit and striking out one in his 2022 debut also returning from the COVID-19 IL. Carlos Estévez pitched a perfect ninth to help the Rockies finish stronger.
Another less-than-ideal start from Márquez
Even though Márquez made it through six innings and left with a tie game, he didn’t have his best performance. For only the sixth time in his career, the Rockies ace gave up three homers in one outing—including a 468-foot bomb to the third deck in right field by Schwarber.
That baseball was crushed, demolished, hammered, etc. pic.twitter.com/dyaLVtQj6X— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 20, 2022
Márquez gave up eight hits, including four with an exit velocity over 107.7 mph.
“They had some good swings on some mistakes,” Black said. “I think that was the key. They didn’t miss a couple mistakes that came back to haunt Germán.”
He struck out five and walked two. In his first game this season, Márquez pitched brilliantly. However, in his last six games dating back to his last three in the 2021 season, Márquez has a 7.59 ERA in 40 1/3 innings. This season, Márquez has no decisions and a 4.67 ERA in 17 1/3 innings.
Strong defense continues
Despite the loss, the Rockies defense continued to make great plays. Sam Hilliard, who got the start in center field, made two great catches to rob Harper of two singles. McMahon made an outstanding, bare-handed grab to throw out Bohm in the second. Cron had to jump to catch the high throw, but since Bohm didn’t touch the bag, Cron was able to tag him out. In the same inning, Brendan Rodgers made a great sliding grab behind second base, then popped up, changed direction, and threw out Matt Vierling.
The Rockies have the day off on Thursday before starting a three-game series against the Tigers in Detroit on Friday.