The Nationals had not lost a first game of a series this year until last night. The Nationals are also 0-1 in games not started by Bryce Harper. That’s the bad news. The good news is the Nationals can grab back their National League supremacy with a win tonight over the Rockies, and Bryce Harper will be starting tonight behind Joe Ross.
The Rockies have called up German (pronounced Hair•mon) Marquez who is filling in for the injured Jon Gray. Marquez is a right-handed hard-throwing 4-seam fastball pitcher who also relies on his curveball and the occasional changeup. Marquez sits at 94mph on average for his fastball and will reachback for 97. When batters can waste the curveball to get back to the fastball, you can beat Marquez as he will miss his spots and make mistakes. There are no current Nationals who have faced Marquez before but Derek Norris who was with the Nationals in Spring Training was batting 1.000 against him with a walk, and that means absolutely nothing except as a piece of random trivia. Okay, then.
Six days ago, Joe Ross went 7 strong innings in his Nationals 2017 debut, and Dusty Baker wisely gave Ross an extra rest day as he threw 100 pitches in his win against the Braves. Ross will most likely be throwing more sinkers tonight mixed in with some changeups and his slider to keep balls on the ground.
Weather could be a factor tonight in Denver. Rain is expected to start this afternoon as the winds pick-up and the temperatures will drop into the 40°’s. The wind-chill index will have this game feeling like winter.
Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies
Stadium: Coors Field, 2001 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205
1st Pitch: 8:40 pm EDT
TV: MASN2, ROOT RM, MLB.TV
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):