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German Márquez ties, sets strikeout records against Phillies

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With his fifth strikeout against the Phillies on Wednesday night, pitcher German Márquez set the Rockies’ new single-season strikeout record at 215. Ubaldo Jiménez previously held the record at 214, set in 2010.

Márquez, in fact, struck out the first eight Phillies he faced, also a Rockies record. He tied the major league record for consecutive strikeouts to start a game. The Astros’ Jim Deshaies struck out the first eight batters he faced on September 23, 1986 and the Mets’ Jacob deGrom did it on September 15, 2014. The streak ended when opposing pitcher Nick Pivetta hit a weak grounder to the left of the mound. Pivetta ended up reaching safely because Márquez’s throw to first base was poor.

The 23-year-old right-hander entered Wednesday’s start with a 13-10 record, a 3.91 ERA, and a 210/54 K/BB ratio in 184 1/3 innings. He and Kyle Freeland have been the backbone of the starting rotation throughout the year and the Rockies now find themselves just a half-game out of first place in the NL West with five games remaining.

Phillies sign Drew Storen and Bud Norris to minor league deals

Drew Storen
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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reported this afternoon that the Phillies signed veteran reliever Drew Storen to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. If Storen makes the major league roster, he will earn a $750,000 salary.

Storen, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2017 with the Reds. That year, he posted a 4.45 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 23 walks over 54 2/3 innings. Storen then underwent Tommy John surgery, which cost him the entire 2018 campaign. He inked a minor league deal with the Royals last year but struggled in nine appearances with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, resulting in his being released in June.

Robert Murray reports that the Phillies have also signed pitcher Bud Norris to a minor league contract. The right-hander, who turns 35 years old in March, missed the 2019 season due to a forearm injury. Norris was last seen in the majors in 2018 with the Cardinals, compiling a 3.59 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 21 walks over 57 2/3 innings of relief.

The Phillies had major bullpen problems last year and haven’t otherwise made any new additions so far this offseason. They’re hoping Storen and Norris have a little bit left in the tank.