Sunday, October 4, 2009

Jason Marquis Is Raising Postseason Questions In Loss To Dodgers

The Colorado Rockies are used to games at the end of the season that don't matter. This is the 15th time in 17 seasons that the Rockies season finale has been a moot point. This time, however, they are not headed out for vacation. On Sunday the Rockies lost to the Dodgers 5-3 while most fans turned their attention towards the surprising Broncos.

After Saturday night's loss, there was no chance that the Rockies could catch the Dodgers in the National League West, ensuring that they would be the Wild Card team, and ensuring that they would head off to Philadelphia to start the postseason on Thursday afternoon.

With the future set in stone, the Rockies could afford to give some of their starting position players a day off. Todd Helton, Troy Tulowitzki, Yorvit Torrealba, Clint Barmes, and Carlos Gonzalez did not see the field. It was a day for the younger players to swing the bat a little before the postseason began.

While the game lacked importance as far as the standings were concerned, it had huge meaning for Jason Marquis, the Rockies starter. Marquis has struggled in the second half of the season. Marquis represented the Rockies in the All Star game after leading the National League with 11 wins. Since the break the righty has won just four games.

Despite Marquis' early success, the second half falloff has led to whispers of Marquis not making the postseason roster. With Aaron Cook proving he is healthy and Ubaldo Jimenez and Jorge De La Rosa dominating, along with Jason Hammel who has been very good of late, the question is legitimate.

On Sunday Marquis did not help his case. In the first inning the native New Yorker gave up four runs. His mechanics were noticeably off, to the point where it would not be too far reached to think that he may be injured. Instead of pitching, Marquis is throwing. His pitches seem aimed. He is not throwing through the ball, but rather simply pushing with his right arm.

The hitters that were hurting Marquis were not limited to the Dodgers sluggers. He gave up hits to Chin Lung Hu, and the first Major League hit to AJ Ellis.

Marquis has been noticeably better when he gets an extra day of rest between starts. That should be to Marquis' benefit, being that if he is to be in the rotation he will probably not pitch until next Sunday in game four at Coors Field.

Regardless, with two days off before the postseason begins, having something to worry about is a very good thing. If someone would have told the Rockies on June 1st that they would win a club-record 92 baseball games, and finish the season as the Wild Card in the National League there is not a member of the organization that would not have been thrilled with that.

The Rockies begin the postseason on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch on both Wednesday and Thursday will be at 12:37 Mountain time. Both games will be broadcast on TBS, on the TV side with the regular radio broadcast on 850 KOA. Ubaldo Jimenez will start game one for the Rockies, followed by Aaron Cook. The Phillies have yet to announce their rotation.

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