Colorado native Marco Gonzales relishes Mariners pitching victory over Rockies

Marco Gonzales stepped onto the mound in a visiting ballpark that felt a lot like home.

The Seattle Mariners starting pitcher had roughly 100 friends and family members in attendance Wednesday night against the Rockies at Coors Field. They all came to witness the local kid who made it big.

“Definitely more nerves than there has been this whole season,” Gonzales said.

You certainly couldn’t tell.

Gonzales — winner of four Class 5A state baseball championships at Rocky Mountain High School (2007-10) — earned his first MLB pitching victory at Coors Field. He allowed two earned runs over five innings with three strikeouts.

It also marked Gonzales’ first pitching victory since becoming a new father. His daughter, Grace, arrived June 26. Gonzales said: “It’s hard to be disappointed when you come home to a newborn.”

The maturation of one of Colorado’s greatest prep baseball players sure makes his old coach smile.

“Just pure joy. I’m super proud of him,” longtime Rocky baseball coach Scott Bullock said. “But also, not surprised. From the time I met Marco and first watched him pitch, I was like: ‘Man, this kid has a chance to be a big leaguer.’ He just had the it-factor.”

There was no denying Gonzales’ potential in high school as the starting pitcher in each of his team’s four state title games. The Cardinals drafted him No. 19 overall (Gonzaga) in 2013 prior to his trade to Seattle. Last season, Gonzales established himself as the Mariners’ ace at 7-2 with a 3.10 ERA.

Not with power, either. His fastball velocity tops out in the low-90s. Last season, he kept hitters off-balance with a devastating changeup and an improving cutter. But Gonzales hasn’t been the same pitcher this season.

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The southpaw spent the entirety of May on the injured list with a left forearm strain, and then missed three more weeks in June/July on paternity leave. Gonzales is 2-5 with a 5.69 ERA in 2021.

His father, Frank, is the pitching coach in the Rockies’ minor league system (Double-A Hartford).

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“You want to be able to come back and find your best delivery,” Frank Gonzales said. “That takes time, or an outing or two, to do that. He’s in a good place right now. He can come out and have a nice second half for sure.”

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Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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