Colorado Rockies: The four horsemen of the 2020 rotation

The Colorado Rockies continue on their hot start to open the season with a 11-3 record and that success can be attributed to their surprising starting pitching.

Three times through the rotation, the Colorado Rockies could not have asked for anything better than what they have received from their front four starters: Germán Márquez, Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, and Antonio Senzatela. In their 12 starts, they are a combined 7-2 with a 2.54 ERA in 71 innings allowing 20 earned runs (23 total), striking out 55 batters and have only walked 20.

Márquez has been masterful with a 2-1 record, a 1.89 ERA, and 23 strikeouts. His lone loss came on Opening Day when he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and the offense failed to provide run support as the Rockies lost to the Rangers 1-0.

Besides that little blemish on his record, he is becoming that true number one starter the Rockies had hoped he would be when they gave him a five-year/$43 million contract extension in April of 2019.

If he continues on his current path, Freeland may be in the running for comeback player of the year. After a horrendous 2019 campaign, where he went 3-11 with a 6.73 ERA and spent some time down in Triple-A Albuquerque, he is looking a lot more like the pitcher who finished fourth in the 2018 Cy Young Award.

So far, he is 2-0 with a 2.41 ERA and until his last pitch in his start against the Giants on Thursday, he had a 16.1-inning scoreless streak.

The biggest surprise has come from the number four starter, Senzatela, who has been on the winning end of his first three starts making him the first Rockies’ pitcher since Jeff Hoffman in 2017 to accomplish that feat.

He has only given up five earned runs in 17 innings while striking out 14 and only walking five batters. Most of his success can be attributed to his better command of his change-up than in past seasons which he has thrown more frequently and has a bigger decrease in velocity than his fastball.

The biggest disappointment of the four starters has been Gray … and that’s is if you want to call surrendering six earned runs in 16.1 innings (3.31 ERA) a disappointment. Gray has actually been really solid, except he has struggled once he has gotten deeper into games and batters have faced him more than twice.

As long as these four starters continue to have success, the Rockies could be a dangerous team that nobody will want to face down the stretch.