DENVER — Ubaldo Jimenez's 2010 season is, by most measures, the obvious high-water mark for a single campaign by a Colorado starting pitcher.

But this year, the memorable right-hander has company at the top of the Rockies' record book, as both Kyle Freeland and German Marquez are turning in seasons that rival Jimenez's banner year — albeit in different ways.

The left-handed Freeland, who has four foreseeable starts remaining, is challenging Jimenez's club-best marks in ERA (2.91 compared to Jimenez's 2.88) and bWAR (7.2 to 7.5).

And Marquez, three foreseeable starts left, is threatening to break Jimenez's records in total strikeouts (195 to 214) and WHIP (1.23 to 1.16). Plus, he's already a near-lock to break the club record for strikeouts per nine at 10.24, easily besting Jon Gray's mark of 9.91 from two seasons ago and Jimenez's 8.69 rate in 2010.

The Rockies’ German Marquez pitches against the Diamondbacks at Coors Field on Monday in Denver.
The Rockies' German Marquez pitches against the Diamondbacks at Coors Field on Monday in Denver. (Dustin Bradford / Getty Images)

Of course, neither Freeland nor Marquez is going to top Jimenez's 19 wins, four complete games (no Rockies starter has one this season), two shutouts or the honor of being the starter in the all-star game.

But as Freeland emphasized, consistently putting the team in position to win is imperative, especially as the Rockies battle the Dodgers and Diamondbacks for their first National League West title and others in the rotation — namely Tyler Anderson and Antonio Senzatela — have scuffled in the second half.

"Ubaldo had a ton of consistency, and it seemed like every time he went out, the team had a really good chance of winning," Freeland said. "You get that feeling now, too, when myself or German or any of the other pitchers are rolling good. The team feels good playing behind them. They're looking to fight for their guy."


Advertisement

Over Freeland and Marquez's last 26 combined starts since June 30 — also right around the time the Rockies began to turn the corner collectively — the team is 22-4.

"What those two fellas are doing, and what they do in their next three or four starts, will go down in history as great seasons right there along with Ubaldo," said Colorado skipper Bud Black, who saw Jimenez from the other side as the Padres' manager. "They have pitched outstanding."

The statistical comparisons to Jimenez are especially cool for Marquez, who is projected to finished with 216 K's, one better than Jimenez's tally. The 23-year-old right-hander grew up watching the Rockies in Venezuela, and recalls being impressed by Jimenez's overwhelming stuff.

"He's comfortable (under pressure), he's got a big two-seamer and he was a power pitcher," Marquez said. "He had a ton of good years here, and made the team fun to watch."

So, too, does the 2018 rotation's leading duo.

And while there's still business left to finish throughout September, as Colorado pitching coordinator Darryl Scott notes, Freeland and Marquez already deserve inclusion into the conversation with Jimenez.

"That Ubaldo year was pretty special," said Scott, who worked with the majority of Colorado's current staff in the minor leagues. "But the year that Marquez and Freeland are having is pretty special, too."