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Rockies-Cubs: Colorado Loses Ground in NL Wild Card Race with Loss

Rich Kurtzman@@RichKurtzman Senior Analyst IAugust 9, 2009

As the Rockies took the field for their second game against the Cubs, Jason Marquis was going for his 13th win for the third time, and again he could not reach that unlucky number.

Against Chicago, his former team, Marquis had good stuff, especially early, but he slowly wore down and left the game after the sixth inning. He gave up eight hits, five earned runs, and also allowed five walks in a subpar performance for the All-Star pitcher.

As the season rolls on into the late stages, Marquis’ record is evening out, now at 12-8, as he’s lost three in a row. That’s a bad omen for Colorado, as if they make the playoffs, they will need his arm in the rotation.

All wasn’t bad for Marquis though, as the game started out as a pitchers' duel; Ryan Dempster was dominant early as well. He had back-to-back 1-2-3 innings, and it seemed as if no one would be able to hit him.

Colorado finally found a way to hit the veteran though, as he gave up nine hits, five runs, and a home run on the day.

The fourth inning of this game was wild, as Marquis walked the bases loaded but only gave up one run.

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Then, in the bottom of the inning, two straight errors were made by the Cubs' infield, loading the bases with no one out, as Brad Hawpe lined a run home for his team-leading 66th RBI.

Both plays could have been turned into double plays. Then, as there was yet another opportunity for a double play, Dempster failed to cover first base, allowing Todd Helton to score and tie the game at two.

The Rockies weren’t done in the fourth stanza though, as they scored two more off a clutch Omar Quintanilla single to gain the lead 4-2 over the now distraught Cubs.

However, Marquis completely lost his stuff in the sixth, as he gave up two more runs—one on a triple to Milton Bradley, and another through Ryan Theriot stealing second before scoring as well.

In the end, the Cubs' bullpen was definitely stronger than the Rockies', and Chicago was able to pull out another win in Colorado, as they closed the Rockies out 6-5.

There were positives of the game too, as Quintanilla played amazingly well.

He made an impact early with a great dig at second, which led to keeping Bradley on second base, and Marquis finished the inning with some high cheese and a punchout.

Quintanilla made his presence felt in the field again, as he made a leaping snag of a hard-hit line drive that ended in a double play in the second inning.

Quintanilla’s greatest play of the night showed why he’s regarded as a great fielder; he ranged to his right, all the way to the outfield, spun, and made an extremely accurate throw to Helton at first for an out.

After watching Quintanilla play again, it made me think, “This guy is really good”—in the field, that is.

In the end, though, there are some ramifications from this game, as the Rockies are now a full game out of the wild card position behind the surging Giants and only a game ahead of the Cubs.

Colorado now looks to finish this series strongly, and possibly get a split with the Cubs, with games on Sunday and Monday.

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