German Marquez has been highly regarded by Rockies fans for several years. Many believe he’s capable of being the best pitcher in Colorado history, as evidenced by the 26-year-old having already flirted with a no-hitter twice in his young career.
Tuesday night at Coors Field, the nation got to see what the “Easy Cheese” hype was all about. Marquez threw a one-two-three fourth inning in his All-Star Game debut, flashing the same dominance he’s displayed while posting a 0.75 ERA over his past five starts.
“I wasn’t really overwhelmed by any pressure because it was one of those things where going in, you’re hoping it goes as well as it could,” Marquez said. “It ended up being an amazing experience.”
Marquez came on with the National League trailing 2-0. His introduction brought a standing ovation from the Coors Field crowd, and Marquez acknowledged the hometown faithful as he stepped on the mound.
Before even throwing a pitch, home plate umpire Tom Hallion went out to make Marquez take off a white sleeve he had on his glove arm. The crowd, thinking it was inspection for “sticky stuff,” booed. But Marquez remained zoned in and proceeded to induce a first-pitch groundout by Boston third baseman Rafael Devers.
With a fastball topping out at 97.6 mph and his slider and curveball also effective, Marquez attacked the zone. Toronto second baseman Marcus Semien worked the count to 3-2 but Marquez induced a groundout to former teammate Nolan Arenado for the second out.
Marquez fell behind 2-0 to the third batter, Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez. But the right-hander ripped off three consecutive sliders to strike out Perez for a one-two-three inning. Marquez, whose wife and son made the trip to Denver from Venezuela, doffed his cap as he walked off the field to nearly as loud of an applause as when he took the mound.
The right-hander is the eighth pitcher, and the sixth starter, in Rockies history to make the All-Star Game. The last player from the Colorado rotation to make the game was Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010, when he started for the National League at Angels Stadium in Anaheim.
Marquez was in consideration by National League manager Dave Roberts to start the game, but Roberts ended up giving the nod to right-hander Max Scherzer instead. Marquez was still at the center of the pregame ceremony when he caught the ceremonial first pitch from ex-Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.
“I was a little nervous catching the first pitch from a guy who’s had such a tremendous (football) career,” Marquez said. “I’m glad I was able to stop (the dirtball).”
Marquez is 8-6 with a 3.36 ERA in 19 starts this year. He started shaky, with a 4.52 ERA through May, but has come on strong as Colorado’s best starter in 2021.
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