MLB LOOK AHEAD

New contract in hand, Rockies’ Marquez faces Braves

Field Level Media

April 09, 2019 at 7:01 am.

Mar 29, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez (48) delivers a pitch in the first inning of a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Photo Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 29, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez (48) delivers a pitch in the first inning of a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Photo Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Max Fried was impressive in his first start of the season for the Atlanta Braves. Now the young southpaw will see if he can carry that effectiveness over to the thin atmosphere in Denver.

Fried (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will be matched against Colorado Rockies right-hander German Marquez (1-0, 0.69) when the teams play the middle game of a three-game series on Tuesday.

Marquez might be trying not to get lightheaded, too, when he starts for the first time since signing a five-year, $43 million contract extension with the Rockies on Saturday.

Fried can learn some things about the higher altitude from teammate Julio Teheran, who was rolling along with a 7-0 lead on Monday before he allowed six runs in the fifth inning. The Braves were able to hang on for an 8-6 victory in the series opener.

It was the fourth straight loss for the Rockies, who have dropped eight of their past nine. Atlanta has won two in a row and six of its past seven.

Fried threw six scoreless innings in his start against the Chicago Cubs last Thursday. He gave up only one hit and no walks while striking out five. He made two earlier relief appearances this season, tossing a combined 1 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings.

“I’m not going to lie, going to the bullpen is something that helped me a lot with my mentality,” Fried said. “It helped me go after guys. It was like I said, ‘Here’s my stuff. Hit it if you can.’ I’m going to try to adapt that to my starting routine, too.”

Fried has not allowed a run in 7 2/3 innings this season. He has struck out five and walked two.

“I told him he looked like a young Cole Hamels,” catcher Brian McCann said afterward Fried’s start against the Cubs. “He’s got the same build and the same sort of look. The stuff is off the charts.”

In Fried’s only career appearance against the Rockies, he pitched 2 2/3 innings and allowed three runs in a relief outing on Aug. 16, 2017.

Marquez will be starting against Atlanta for the third time in his career, looking to improve on a 1-1 head-to-head record and 6.95 ERA.

He did not factor into the decision in his most recent start despite throwing seven shutout innings Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays. Marquez allowed three hits and three walks and struck out seven in a game the Rockies eventually won 1-0 in 11 innings.

Marquez defeated Miami in his first start of the year, allowing one run on two hits over six innings with seven strikeouts. Opponents are batting only .119 against Marquez, who has struck out 14 in 13 innings.

Marquez has been a hot pitcher since the 2018 All-Star Game. He is 7-3 with a 2.38 ERA in 106 innings since then, striking out 138 while walking only 26.

The Rockies like Marquez’s power arm — he throws a 95 mph fastball and has developed a slider and curveball. He struck out a franchise-best 230 batters last year while going 14-11.

“I want to continue my hard work,” Marquez said when his new contract was announced Saturday. “Nothing changes. The goal is to always win a championship here. I look forward to this opportunity.”

Colorado’s Trevor Story continued his assault on Atlanta pitching on Monday. The shortstop hit a three-run, fifth-inning homer that got the Rockies back in the game. Story is now batting .387 (29-for-75) against Atlanta pitching with 23 runs, 11 homers and 25 RBIs.

His homer total against the Braves is his highest against a non-NL West opponent.