In their worst performance at Coors Field this season, the Rockies hardly hit and Germán Márquez was hard hit.
Fresh off scoring 28 runs against the Giants in San Francisco, the Nationals kept up the offensive assault, totaling 16 hits, including home runs from Josh Bell (three-run homer) and Juan Soto (solo shot). The Rockies have now surrendered double-digit runs three times this season, but this was the first time at home.
The game ended a three-game winning streak and marked the fourth straight game Márquez struggled with his fastball control. Offensively, the Rockies just couldn't get much going, but at least C.J. Cron hit a homer.
Márquez hit hard and often
From the start, Márquez (0-2) struggled with his command and Elias Díaz worked hard to block pitches in the dirt. With Márquez struggling with control of his fastball, he left too many right over the plate and the Nationals didn’t let him get away with it. He walked César Hernández in the first at-bat of the game and then Juan Soto took Márquez deep, but luckily Sam Hilliard made a running, jumping catch against the left field wall. A double play — the first of three of the night by the Rockies defense — bailed Márquez out of a second inning that featured a single and a walk. Then the real damage started in the third when Alcides Escobar singled and César Hernández was hit by a pitch. Márquez struck out Soto, but Josh Bell then hit a homer to left to put Washington up 3-0.
JB FOR 3@JBell_19 // #NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/FjOqjGbcwP— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 4, 2022
Maikel Franco singled and Keibert Ruiz doubled — and both hits were over 106 mph — and Franco came around to score in the fourth before Soto homered (fifth of the year and it went 414 feet) and Ruiz hit a two-run double in the fifth to put the Nationals up 7-1. Márquez ended the night giving up seven runs on 10 hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He never had a 3-up, 3-down inning. He’s now given up 17 hits in his last two starts, stretching over 8 2⁄3 innings. Manager Bud Black admitted that the Nationals came in hot offensively and credited their talent, but also noted Márquez’s struggles in the postgame press conference.
“We gotta get the fastball in better spots,” Black said. “It’s pretty simple. Pitching is about location, right? On a given night, you might get fortunate with not making a bunch of quality pitches ... line drives and such. But tonight, and other nights with German, the fastball is in bad spots.”
Cron Zone goes on
The Rockies totaled seven hits on the night and C.J. Cron got three of them. He also drew a walk to reach base every time he came to the plate. In the eighth inning, he provided one of the few highlights for the Rockies on the night when he smashed his ninth homer of the year 415 feet to left field.
Watch # 9️⃣ fly, @CCron24— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 4, 2022
(Ties him for league most HRs too) pic.twitter.com/sTw9zzQfeD
Cron got an infield single in the first inning, but was left on base. He walked in the third and led off the sixth with a single, but was erased when Díaz grounded into a double play.
No rallies for Rockies
Washington starter Erick Fedde shut the Rockies down, giving up one run on six hits in seven innings with three strikeouts and two walks. But it’s not like the Rockies didn’t have their chances. Colorado had baserunners in each of the first three innings and then had traffic again in the sixth and seventh. They went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, while Washington went 5-for-13. The Rockies best chance came in the third inning when Conner Joe led off with a walk and Charlie Blackmon singled to put runners on first and third with no outs. Randall Grichuk then hit a hard one-hopper to Franco at third. The result was a fielder’s choice that sent Blackmon to the dugout, but also allowed Joe to score. Cron followed with a walk, but then Ryan McMahon flew out to center and Díaz struck out looking.
The Rockies will be back at it on Wednesday night when Austin Gomber (1-2, 3.86 ERA) faces off against Patrick Corbin (0-4, 8.69 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m.