The Phillies were a part of major-league history on Wednesday night. Some of the worst kind of major-league history.
They struck out eight times in a row to begin their game against Rockies right-hander German Marquez. It tied the major-league record, achieved by Jim DeShaies in 1986 and Jacob deGrom in 2014, for consecutive K's to begin a game.
Through two innings, Marquez had thrown just 23 pitches, 18 for strikes with seven swinging strikes.
In the third, he punched out Scott Kingery and Andrew Knapp on six pitches before pitcher Nick Pivetta reached first on an error by first baseman Ian Desmond. After Hernandez walked, Marquez picked up strikeout No. 9 to end the inning.
This was an exaggerated example of Marquez's recent work. The guy has pitched like Chris Sale the last two months and it's gone largely unnoticed because the baseball world is used to ignoring pitchers at Coors Field.
Over his last 15 starts, Marquez is 8-2 with a 2.58 ERA and has struck out 126 batters in 101 innings. In his last five starts alone, he's had a 13-strikeout games and three with 11.
Strikeouts are at an all-time high league-wide and the Phillies are toward the top. Their 1,457 K's entering Wednesday were third-most in the league, ahead of only the White Sox and Padres. Elite company.