Colorado Rockies morning after: Pitching falters, snapping three-game winning streak

HOUSTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 18: Antonio Senzatela #49 of the Colorado Rockies pitches against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on August 18, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 18: Antonio Senzatela #49 of the Colorado Rockies pitches against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on August 18, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Colorado Rockies were, once again, in the game against the Philadelphia Phillies and their ace Aaron Nola but the pitching faltered, snapping the Rockies three-game winning streak.

The Rockies had Antonio Senzatela on the mound and, for the first two innings, everything was working well for him. However, he got squeezed on a few pitches by home plate umpire CB Bucknor (some were borderline and some were not) in the third inning and Senzatela let it get to him.

He told the media, including Rox Pile, as much after the game.

"“Yeah, I think in that inning, I lost my (focus) a little bit after I didn’t get the call with the fastball in against [Phillies first baseman Rhys] Hoskins … and it was bad for me. I need to keep pitching and make the pitches after that and not worry about the umpire’s call,” said Senzatela."

Bud Black echoed the same sentiment to the media just before Senzatela spoke with the media.

"“Certain calls swing the count for sure but this is baseball and you’ve gotta to absorb certain things and get through it,” said Black. “Tonight, there were some (calls) from Senzatela’s point of view … that he thought, maybe, they were strikes but you’ve gotta absorb that and you’ve gotta come back and make pitches to get guys out and what happened tonight (wasn’t that)."

Two pitches after the pitch that Senzatela didn’t get called, he allowed a two-run homer to Hoskins to tie the game. But the pitcher, Aaron Nola, lead off the inning and got a single on a pitch that could not have been more centrally located. Senzatela, then, walked Bryce Harper after the Hoskins homer on five pitches and three of the five were not close to the strike zone.

Catcher JT Realmuto followed up with a single and shortstop Didi Gregorius followed up with an RBI single. Alec Bohm had a sac fly on the sixth pitch of the at-bat and on the fourth pitch of the AB that was dead center (the other two were way off the plate).

So all four runs that Senzatela allowed were allowed within the third inning.

Jhoulys Chacin came on in a 4-4 tie in the 6th inning in his first game action in nearly two weeks and it showed.

He allowed a leadoff double, a walk to the eighth-place hitter, and when the lineup turned back over, he walked Andrew McCutchen and then allowed a three-run homer to Rhys Hoskins, his second of the game and third of the series before being pulled in favor of Ben Bowden.

If not for Elias Diaz nabbing the lead runner (Nick Maton who doubled to leadoff) on Aaron Nola’s bunt and Diaz gunning down Roman Quinn, the fastest man in baseball by sprint speed, when he was trying to steal third, it would have been even more costly for the Rockies.

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But the offense still clicked for the Rockies

For the fourth straight game, the Rockies scored five or more runs. In the first 16 games of the year, the Rockies averaged only 4.1 runs a game with a slash line of .221/.270/.385.

They didn’t quite as well on Saturday as they did in the previous three games but they did fairly well, especially considering they were facing Aaron Nola. Nola came in 3rd in the NL Cy Young voting in 2018 (Kyle Freeland came in 4th) and Nola came in 7th last year.

The Rockies were able to get four runs off of him in seven innings and they only struck out four times against him. He struck out between five and ten batters in his previous four starts in 2021 and he didn’t allow more than three in any start. In his last start, he threw a nine-inning complete-game shutout against the Cardinals.

Ryan McMahon hit his seventh homer of the campaign which puts him back in a tie for the most in baseball. He now has an average of .273 and an OPS of .880. C.J. Cron had two hits and Raimel Tapia, Trevor Story, Garrett Hampson, Elias Diaz, and Alan Trejo (in a pinch-hit role) also had single hits with Tapia, Hampson, and Trejo’s being of the extra-base variety (doubles for Tapia and Trejo and a triple for Hampson).

Next. Will the Rockies move Charlie Blackmon down in the lineup?. dark

The Rockies will look to return to the win column at 1:10 PM M.T. on Sunday as they will face former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Chase Anderson. Jon Gray will toe the slab for the Rockies.