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Rockies 1, Mets 0: A Pitching Duel in the Big Apple

The Rockies avoided the sweep at Citi Field in a low-scoring pitcher’s duel thanks to an excellent performance from Germán Márquez

I’m not sure anyone expected a low-scoring, old-fashioned pitcher’s duel coming into this afternoon’s game four series finale against the New York Mets. However, that’s what we were treated to in the Big Apple as the Colorado Rockies avoided a sweep in Flushing with a 1-0 victory.

A More Masterful Márquez

Germán Márquez made the start today for the Rockies and looked like the All-Star we know he can be while putting up his best start of the 2022 season. Márquez pitched seven shutout innings and allowed just one hit against a dangerous Mets lineup. This is just the second time this season that Márquez did not allow and earned run during his outing, and the one hit is the fewest he’s allowed all season. That one hit didn’t come until the bottom of the fifth inning. He struck out five batters and walked two. Márquez relied primarily on his sinker (39 total) and knuckle curve (29) total against the Mets lineup. After today’s performance Márquez has lowered his season ERA to 4.97. Hopefully he can build upon today and finish the season strong after struggling for a large part of the campaign.

Scherzer Scorches

Coming into this afternoon’s game it was a foregone conclusion that Mad Max—a surefire Hall of Fame pitcher—would carve up the Rockies lineup. Max Scherzer threw 112 total pitches over seven complete innings of work while keeping the Rockies off the board for six of them. He walked just one batter while striking out a whopping 11. Scherzer struck out Ryan McMahon and Brendan Rodgers to start the first inning on just six pitches, but a single from Charlie Blackmon kept him from an immaculate inning. That single was the last hit the Rockies had until the seventh inning, when they were finally able to get to Scherzer. CJ Cron, José Iglesias, and Randal Grichuk led off the seventh inning with three straight singles, and a sacrifice fly from Brian Serven managed to drive in the Rockies’ first and only run of the ballgame. It speaks volumes to the talent of Scherzer that the Rockies scored just one run when they had the bases loaded and no outs to start the inning. Scherzer entered the game looking for his 200th career victory, and it will have to come against some other team.

Beautiful Bullpen

The Rockies bullpen only needed to work for two innings today and they got strong performances from both of the pitchers they turned to. Carlos Estévez took the mound for the eighth inning. While he did allow a one out single from the rookie Brett Baty, he struck out the next two batters he faced to end the inning. Estévez has quietly been one of the Rockies’ best bullpen pitchers since the All-Star Break. Through 16 appearances he’s given up just one earned run and walked only two batters. He’s tallied 15 strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 3.66.

Closer Daniel Bard took the ball with a tight lead for the bottom of the ninth inning, looking to recover after being walked off on the other day. Bard gave up a deep hit to Mets slugger Pete Alonso with one out, but Randal Grichuk in right field did an excellent job getting the ball in quickly to keep him out of scoring position. Bard then struck out the dangerous Eduardo Escobar and induced a groundout from Jeff McNeil to cement the Rockies victory and earn his 27th save of the season.

Coming Up Next

The Rockies have Monday off for travel as they head down to Charlie Blackmon’s neck of the woods for a three game series against the Atlanta Braves starting Tuesday. José Ureña will take the mound on Tuesday looking to bounce back from his painful start against the Texas Rangers in which he allowed nine earned runs in 1 13 innings. The pitcher for the Braves has yet to be announced. First pitch will be at 5:20 PM MDT.