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Behind German Marquez, Rockies look to salvage series split with Dodgers

Jul 26, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA;  Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez (48) delivers a pitch in the third inning against the Chicago White Sox at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies aren’t out of the playoff chase in late July, but their prospects of reaching the postseason are fading each day.

The Rockies would need an immediate turnaround to reach the playoffs this year. The upside is Colorado has only seven games left with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have ruled the National League West for a decade.

On Sunday, the two teams will wrap up a four-game series in Denver, with Los Angeles sending right-hander Tony Gonsolin (11-1, 2.26 ERA) against Colorado righty German Marquez (6-8, 5.25).

Colorado bounced back from losing the first two games to win 5-3 on Saturday night.

Marquez was the team’s lone All-Star in 2021 and has pitched well of late, recording three straight quality starts and has dropped his ERA from 6.16 in five weeks.

He will face the Dodgers for the fourth time this season. He is 0-2 with a 5.51 ERA against them this year, and for his career, he is 2-3 with a 3.56 ERA in 14 starts.

“He needs to stay on the attack, try to avoid as many 1-0, 2-1, 3-1 counts as possible,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “I think this group sort of thrives on that. And I think German, for the most part, has done that in his last few of starts. There’ll be a lot of lefties in here (Sunday). He’s got to land the breaking ball.”

Gonsolin hasn’t missed many spots this season — or against Colorado at any point. He has 90 strikeouts in 99 2/3 innings this year, and his career mark against the Rockies is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in five games — four starts.

Gonsolin’s surprise season has bolstered a rotation that has been hit hard by injuries. Walker Buehler hasn’t pitched since early June and isn’t expected back for at least another month. The bullpen has also suffered injuries, with Victor Gonzalez, Tommy Kahnle, Daniel Hudson, Blake Treinen and Brusdar Graterol going down this year.

The good news for Los Angeles is most, if not all, are expected to return this year, but as insurance the team acquired veteran reliever Chris Martin from the Chicago Cubs for Zach McKinstry on Saturday.

Martin is expected to join the team in Denver for Sunday’s game.

Martin helped the Atlanta Braves win the World Series last season and could get a second title if the Dodgers continue to play well. At minimum he provides another arm in the bullpen.

“We’ve got guys that are coming back, but there’s no guarantee,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s performed in big spots. He’s a veteran player who went to Japan, he commands the baseball, so just to kind of have them here, I think it’s great opportunity for him and for us.”

–Field Level Media