When German Marquez signed a five-year, $43 million contract extension before the 2019 season, it showed the faith the Colorado Rockies had in the young righty.
Overall, Marquez has rewarded Colorado (64-84) with his talent, including being named an All-Star in 2021, but he has had his struggles,too. He has a chance to finish strong when he makes his last home start of the season against the San Francisco Giants (71-77) on Wednesday night.
Marquez (8-11, 5.14 ERA) will go against Giants righty Logan Webb (13-9, 3.02) in the third game of a four-game set in Colorado.
San Francisco has taken the first two games of the series, including a 6-3 win on Tuesday night.
One of the highlights for Marquez this season was his lone start against the Giants. He allowed three runs on four hits over six innings to get the win in San Francisco on June 7.
It was one of 15 career starts he has made against the Giants, and he is 5-8 with a 6.98 ERA against them. Despite the high ERA, San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said the team respects Marquez.
"The thing that stands out is just the experience," Kapler said. "He's been pitching here for quite some time and doing so successfully. I think our team has had some decent success against him."
Marquez isn't the only Rockies player trying to gain some momentum for next year. Brendan Rodgers started the year slow before finding a groove, has slumped lately, and is hitting just .057 in September, but it hasn't impacted his defense.
He suffered a left hamstring injury at the Chicago Cubs on Sunday but an MRI on the leg came back clean, manager Bud Black said, so there's a chance Rodgers can return before the end of the season and finish strong.
"There quite a few things I accomplished, and there are some things I can do better, but overall I made strides, no question," he said.
The Giants have a player in Mike Yastrzemski who is excelling in the field despite not hitting well. Yastrzemski is batting just .208 with 13 home runs but is on pace to top 139 games played, a personal record he set last year.
Defense has helped keep him in the lineup. He has split his time between center field and right field and has committed just three errors in 135 games. Yastrzemski has earned Kapler's trust.
"You can make a case that over the last couple of years he's been every bit as good as any other center fielder that we've had," Kapler said. "He's been our best right fielder and his makeup is tremendous. He's always prayed prepared and never going to be outworked, and we sort of want to reward that at every turn. And one of the best ways to reward a player is by showing faith in him."
While Yastrzemski is headed to a career high in games played, Webb has already surpassed his top season for innings pitched. He has tossed 182 innings in 30 starts, with No. 31 31 coming Wednesday against Colorado.
He is 4-2 with a 4.32 ERA in nine career games (eight starts) against the Rockies.
--Field Level Media