Brailyn Marquez Sets SB Cubs Record with 14 Strikeouts

Anyone who’s watched Brailyn Marquez pitch, even those who’ve only heard about him pitching, can tell you he’s capable of big things. He’s always had that high 90’s fastball and the type of stuff that makes you crane your neck to see his ceiling. But if I had not watched his most recent performance myself, I don’t think I would have believed it.

Marquez came out dealing, striking out the first six batters of the game. The first three all went down on fastballs clocked at triple digits, the second set on sliders. That’s pretty much how you draw you up.

What made everything possible tonight was that Marquez threw strikes. For all the velocity and movement, he hasn’t always pitched efficiently enough to go deep into games. After two innings Thursday night, however, he had only thrown 22 pitches.

In the 3rd and 4th innings, Marquez had to battle a little bit and eventually lost his no-hitter in the with a single. Still, he had not given up a run or walked anyone and added two more strikeouts to close out the 4th.

In the 5th, he got going again and kept mowing hitters down for three more strikeouts. He struck out the side for the fourth time on the evening the following inning and was done for the night. Marquez needed just 71 pitches to get 14 strikeouts, a South Bend Cubs record.

It was one of the most impressive starts I have seen from a minor league pitcher. Hitters stood no chance at the plate and they knew it when they stepped in the box. In addition to a fastball Marquez maintained in the upper 90’s, he commanded his slider at will, rarely missing the zone. Of those 71 pitches, 53 were strikes.

After Thursday’s gem, Marquez’s ERA for July down to 2.11 with 33 Ks in 21.1 IP. Cubs fans should be drooling over this 20-year-old lefty and what he’ll be capable of with a little more experience, instruction, and maturity.

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