Coors Field has been kind to the Colorado Rockies, unlike the road. The Rockies have won 39 of their 60 home games, a victory total topped by just three major league teams.
The disparity in records between home and road is largely because the Rockies’ offense has sputtered outside the thin air while the pitching has mostly been decent.
One pitcher who has performed well at home and on the road is German Marquez, the ace of the Colorado staff. While he has done well away from Denver, he has been dominant at Coors Field, and he gets a chance to build on that when he takes the mound Tuesday night in the second game of a three-game series against the San Diego Padres.
The Padres will counter with Matt Strahm (0-0, 8.44 ERA), who will make his first start of the season after five relief appearances. He hasn’t faced Colorado this year, but he is 1-1 with a 5.51 ERA in 12 career outings (one start) vs. the Rockies.
The Rockies won the series opener 6-5 on Monday when C.J. Cron hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning. San Diego had tied it in the top of the ninth on Trent Grisham’s three-run homer.
Marquez (10-9, 3.77 ERA) went 6-1 over his past nine outings at Coors Field, with seven of them quality starts. As well as he has pitched outside of Denver over the course of the season, he struggled in his past three road starts, giving up 13 runs in 16 1/3 innings.
He has performed well against the Padres this season, going 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts, both in San Diego in July.
In his career against San Diego, he is 7-3 with a 4.48 ERA in 14 games, 12 of them starts.
If Marquez keeps up his success against the Padres, the Colorado offense won’t need much. While the bats struggled on the road, the current leadoff hitter, Connor Joe, has been doing well. The rookie hit a leadoff homer on Monday to celebrate his 29th birthday, and his recent performance has impressed manager Bud Black.
“He is showing really good major league at-bats against major league pitching,” Black said. “I think that’s the thing that sticks out to me and the coaching staff and his teammates. He doesn’t have a lot of major league at-bats. He’s getting them now.”
The Padres have struggled lately but are getting a little healthier. Fernando Tatis Jr. returned Sunday and Jurickson Profar is expected back from the injured list later in the week.
San Diego had lost four straight before winning at Arizona on Sunday, an 8-2 victory that was preceded by a team meeting. On Saturday, the Padres were no-hit by Diamondbacks rookie Tyler Gilbert, who was making his first major league start.
“Sometimes in the season, you get lost in what’s going on,” San Diego first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “It’s such a long, grueling season, it can sometimes beat you down.”
San Diego still holds the second National League wild-card spot despite its recent woes. The Padres lead the Cincinnati Reds by 1 1/2 games for the league’s last postseason position.
–Field Level Media