There have been some memorable ones in recent memory.
You know, I thought of making this a Rockpile about the whole Bridich situation, but I decided against it because there are already a ton of discussions about that and I don’t want to beat that horse again. So therefore, I will instead be asking you fine people a question:
What’s your favorite start by a Rockies hurler? The most memorable, the one you will always remember?
I have my answer, but let’s first take a look at some of the best of the best. There have been five starts in Rockies history that ended with a Game Score of 90 or higher. Now, Game Score perfect? Absolutely not, of course (seven innings of two-run ball at Coors is a much bigger accomplishment than at any other ballpark), but it does a solid job of setting a baseline for pitching performances, adjustment or not.
So anyway, here they are:
- Jon Gray vs SDP (9/17/2016): 9 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 16 K | Game Score: 95
- Germán Márquez @ SFG (4/14/2019): 9 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K | Game Score: 94
- Jeff Francis vs STL (7/24/2006): 9 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K | Game Score: 91
- Darryl Kile @ SDP (9/20/1998): 10 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K | Game Score: 91
- Chad Bettis vs SFG (9/5/2016): 9 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K | Game Score: 90
This question and topic came to me after watching yesterday’s Phillies vs. Cardinals game, a game that featured only one reliever used. Zack Wheeler went 8+ and got the win and Adam Wainwright put together the rare CG loss, and I thought it was such a sensational pitcher’s duel that I had to make the Rockpile about starters again. It also came on the heels of watching Shane Bieber and Gerrit Cole become only the second pair of starters to each throw 110+ pitches in a game in almost three years (Verlander and Mike Minor are the other duo). Starters really are the main protagonists.
As for my answer to the question I posed before? It’s Germán’s one-hitter and it’s not close, mainly because of the timing. The Rockies were 3-12 heading into that game and Germán gave us exactly what we needed, an utterly dominant performance to stop the bleeding and put the team back on track. It’s really the best example of a Rockies starter completely taking over a game I’ve ever seen (remember, my first full season watching baseball was 2018), and that emotional connection cannot be understated.
So I ask again: What’s your favorite start by a Rockies pitcher? Sound off in the comments below!
Kind of a post-mortem from Dan Szymborski, but a very accurate one that ends in a somewhat hopeful, yet doubtful note. Szymborski notes that while the Rockies have a lot of things going for them (beautiful city and ballpark, supportive fanbase, and a lot of room for a creative baseball mind to work its magic), it all depends on whether ownership wants to change or not.
It’s going to take a while, I’ll say that. Keith Law identifies three things the Rox have to do to start winning: stop spending free-agency money on relievers, getting back into the top end of the international free-agent market, and improving hitter development (re: plate discipline).
We all know the Rockies struggle on the road, but it’s been particularly brutal this season. They’re 0-7 away from Denver and get this, they’ve been outscored 41-11 in those seven games. They currently have a .505 road OPS, which is the worst mark in baseball by a mile. Will it get better? Probably so, but it looks bleak right now.