Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez was looking for the second no-hitter in Rockies history on Sunday against the Giants, taking his bid into the eighth inning, but an Evan Longoria single with eyes rolled to the outfield to end the dream. The only Rockies no-hitter remains a Ubaldo Jimenez gem on April 17, 2010 in Atlanta.
Only Jimenez and Kyle Freeland (8 1/3 hitless innings on July 9, 2017) have taken a no-hit bid later in a game as Rockies. It was the first Rockies complete game since Tyler Chatwood pulled it off on April 15, 2017, coincidentally in this same ballpark (though it was called AT&T Park at the time).
Let’s focus in on Marquez, though, as he was brilliant on Sunday, no-hitter or not, in his shutout. He struck out nine, induced mostly weak contact when it was put in play and was efficient, needing 105 pitches to complete his shutout. He only faced 29 hitters, with the Longoria hit and a Kevin Pillar hit-by-pitch being his only blemishes.
Marquez came into Sunday already having a very good season. He was pitching to a 3.00 ERA with just 12 hits allowed in 18 innings. Meantime, the Giants entered the game hitting just .208 as a team and Oracle Park is most definitely a pitcher’s park.
Still, this season appears to be yet another step forward for Marquez. In 2017, he finished with a 4.39 ERA (115 ERA+, because we have to keep Coors Field in mind) and 1.38 WHIP en route to a fifth-place finish in Rookie of the Year voting. Last year, he improved to 3.77 ERA (126 ERA+) and 1.20 WHIP with a hefty 230 strikeouts in 196 innings.
As things stand this season, Marquez has a 2.00 ERA, 0.70 WHIP and 25 strikeouts in 27 innings this season. He’s only allowed his opposition to hit .143/.210/.253 hit season.
Those are quite obviously ace numbers. As we are required by law to say anytime we write anything in April, it’s still way early and the sample size here is pretty small. Marquez has only made four starts and he’s probably got 29 more. If he keeps pitching like this, though, he’ll be a first-time All-Star and stick around in the Cy Young conversation. He’s one of the few Rockies’ bright spots so far this season.