When the conversation turns to the starting pitching rotation for the Colorado Rockies, often the names German Marquez, Jon Gray, and Kyle Freeland come to the forefront.
But don’t forget about Antonio Senzatela, the fourth starter for the Colorado Rockies.
“Senza” once again showed Colorado Rockies fans Friday night why his name should be near the top of the list of when discussions turn to Rox starting hurlers.
Senzatela became the first Colorado pitcher to earn his third win of the young season, going six strong innings in the Rockies’ 8-4 victory against Seattle in the opener of a three-game series between the two teams at T-Mobile Park.
In improving his record to 3-0, the right-hander permitted just five hits and three runs (two earned) while striking out five to help Colorado to its sixth win in seven games in August and an overall 10-3 record (at the time) to keep the Rox atop the National League West standings.
And his performance came against a team that Senza had not fared well against. Entering Friday night’s game, he was 0-2 in two previous career starts with an 8.18 ERA against the Mariners. In his last start against Seattle in July of 2018, he surrendered six runs on five hits in six innings on the mound.
Did he change his approach on Friday night in his first matchup with Seattle in two years?
"“I put in my mind every day is a new day, every day is a new game,” Senzatela said after the game. “I just forget about the past and get into today’s game the best I can do right now. (Tonight) I did a good job and I feel happy for it.”"
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And the Rockies are certainly happy with the way Senza has been performing this season.
He has now allowed just five earned runs in 17.0 innings pitched for a 2.65 earned run average. His pitching has helped Colorado starting pitchers to compile a 2.80 ERA, which is the third best mark in the Major Leagues and second in the National League.
One person who is not surprised with how Senzatela is pitching is Rockies manager Bud Black.
"“For me, Senza is a big league starting pitcher,” Black said. “There has been a learning curve for him from 2017. He has made some great adjustments. That is a tribute to him and his development.“I think this guy has a tremendous competitive spirit,” Black added. “He is as tough a competitor as we have on our team. He has a track record of winning games. I know that in this day and age it is something that a lot of the analytic people put at the top of the list, but for me he competes really, really well when he is out there.“He has talent with his arm and he has expanded his repertoire to big league quality. The way he is throwing the ball this year to me is not surprising based on the guy.”"
If Senza can continue to perform at the level he has, look for people to mention his name more often as he continues to draws more attention across the league.