Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday night, falling 3-2 to the Colorado Rockies despite an eighth-inning rally to tie the game.
The Rockies were led by a strong pitching performance from starter Germán Márquez, who allowed just three hits over seven innings. The only blemish on his line came off a solo home run from Austin Barnes in the third inning.
The Dodgers’ lineup followed by going 1-for-16 the rest of the way until the Rockies went to their bullpen.
After the game, manager Dave Roberts called the 27-year-old one of the best starters in baseball and credited Márquez for mixing his pitches well and preventing the Dodgers from taking quality swings, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I thought (Rockies starter German) Marquez was really good. In my opinion, he’s one of the top pitchers in baseball,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I thought he mixed well tonight, used his slider, more change(ups) than usual and obviously a plus fastball. So we really didn’t get too many good swings off him.”
The right-hander averages about 95 mph on his fastball, but it’s often described as seeming to have more zip, and Márquez is able to manipulate the shape of his slider in different situations, which makes him tough to face, Barnes pointed out after the game:
“He’s got a quick arm. His fastball gets on you,” Barnes said. “Then his slider especially here — it’s a bunch of different sliders. Sometimes it’s a true slider, a little sweeping and sometimes it cuts a little. He’s tough. He always pitches us tough.”
Márquez has historically given the Dodgers trouble, throwing 64.2 innings with a 3.06 ERA in 11 career starts against L.A.
Although his career stats don’t point to Márquez as a true ace on the surface, he has pitched his entire career in the notoriously hitter-friendly Coors Field and still owns a 4.28 ERA and 3.85 FIP in 814.1 innings.
On the road, the Rockies’ ace has pitched to a 3.85 ERA in 418.1 innings, compared to his 4.73 ERA at home. Márquez has also struck out an average of 9.02 hitters per nine innings while walking just 2.61 per nine.
Roberts: Opening Day Rally indicative of Dodgers lineup depth
While the Dodgers offense has yet to fully click, they showed a glimpse of their potential with a five-run fourth inning on Opening Day.
“It started off by a soft-serve single by Will Smith, and then you just start having at-bats, guys are grinding, taking walks when given to you,” he said. “As I mentioned, Gavin and Freddie, Mookie got into a hitter’s count, which was a big hit for us.
“But Freddie, it’s not going to show up in the scorecard, but going first to third, and a situation where there’s a wild pitch and he scores an insurance run. Those are things that are a little microcosm of what we can do.”
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