For the Colorado Rockies and Antonio Senzatela, it was deja vu all over again on Friday night at Coors Field.
Antonio Senzatela and the Colorado Rockies were once again burned by two-out issues and the long ball as the Pittsburgh Pirates took advantage early on their way to a 9-4 win at Coors Field. With the loss, Colorado is now 19-43 since June 21.
Senzatela came into Friday night with batters posting a .287/.425/.519 slash line against him this season. Those numbers will only go up after what Pittsburgh did on Friday night.
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The issues raised their ugly heads early for the 24-year-old right-hander. Senzatela retired the first two batters of the game before three consecutive singles gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.
How does Senzatela’s two-out numbers compared to other on the Rockies?
Jon Gray this season with two outs … .240/.323/.427
German Marquez this season with two outs … .209/.266/.320
Colorado pitching overall this season with two outs … .260/.342/.453
Certainly Senzatela’s two-out numbers are better than some of those in the Colorado bullpen (looking at you, Wade Davis … you and your .373/.464/.559 slash line heading into Friday night’s clean inning). However, when Colorado manager Bud Black puts such an emphasis on starting pitching setting the tone for the entire team, not being able to close down the inning is a buzzkill for any momentum.
"“It’s just a matter of finishing them (innings) off and making pitches,” Black said postgame. “There’s really no simple answer to it. He’s aware of this and he’s trying to make pitches and get the third out for sure. At that moment, he has to make better pitches to get the third out. It’s as simple as that.”"
And, of course, it wasn’t just two-out issues that buried Senzatela and the Rockies on Friday. A 433-foot, three-run blast off the bat of Melky Cabrera was the 14th homer he has surrendered this season in 99.2 innings pitched. With that, he’s pacing ahead of his career-high when he gave up 18 long balls in 134.2 innings in 2017.
Same for Senzatela’s inability to force swings and misses. Just look at this stat from early in the night.
Senzatela is currently playing under a $545,000 contract and has three years left of arbitration. The biggest question at the moment is if there’s still a place for Senzatela in Colorado’s future plans if he continues to show minimal progress on the mound. Yes, he could provide depth at the Triple-A level and could theoretically enter spring training in line for a late rotation spot (depending on what Colorado does in the offseason), but is he proving enough now to warrant that shot?
That’s something to monitor as September unfolds. If the Rockies are really using the last month of a lost season to evaluate personnel, Senzatela and the issues that keep showing up should clearly be under a critical microscope.