Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Marquis Performance Sparks Struggling Colorado Rockies


This offseason the Rockies acquired Jason Marquis for Luis Vizcaino from the Chicago Cubs. It was a move that the Rockies made in an effort to provide quality depth in the starting rotation.

Marquis was on the outs in Chicago. Cubs fans were down on Marquis after rumors that he did not get along well with manager Lou Piniella, especially after being left off of the NLDS roster.

Sometimes you don't know what you have until it's gone.

Marquis has won no less than 11 games in the last five seasons. He was a huge question mark in the spring when he sported a plus 14.00 ERA. He said that he was working on tweaking his mechanics to maximize his sinkerball. It became clear early in the regular season that no one should have been worried about Marquis.

After today's 10-4 win over the Dodgers, Marquis is 3-1, owning half of the Rockies total wins for the season.

Today's win is easily the most important of the young season. Colorado was already sitting seven games behind the Dodgers in the NL West and needed the win to avoid sweeps in consecutive weekends by Los Angeles.

In postgame comments in Arizona, Marquis was asked if this team struggled with getting through tough losing streaks. He responded by saying that he believed that the team plays young and that sometimes they did not have the veteran mentality in the clubhouse to shake off the night before and believe that the club would win that day.

Clearly Marquis is taking on a veteran role in the Colorado clubhouse this season. He may not exactly be the cheerleader type that you might find in Troy Tulowitzki, but a guy who goes out onto the field and shows the younger players how it is done.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that both Aaron Cook and Ubaldo Jimenez, who have struggled mightily this season, will find their grooves and be successful on the mound. If Marquis can continue to give quality performances, Colorado may be in a good position to get back into the NL West race.
The Rockies finish up their six game home stand with three games against the Padres, starting Monday night. Colorado will start Jason Hammel on the mound. He will go against Padres starter Chris Young.

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