There wasn’t much offense in this game in the early going as both starting pitchers appeared to be on their game. There were six double plays in the game, three coming in the first three half innings. For the Cardinals, Carlos Martinez completed seven innings, giving up three runs on just six hits and two walks. The first run came in the bottom of the third inning as Tony Wolters walked in the bottom of the third inning, then scored on a Charlie Blackmon triple. The second run came in the bottom of the fourth. Nolan Arenado led off the inning with a double, then moved to third on a Carlos Gonzalez groundout to first base. Arenado later scored on a single from Mark Reynolds. Blackmon chased Martinez from the game with one out in the bottom of the eighth by hitting a home run deep into the right-field stands. That was the extent of the Rockies’ damage against Martinez who struck out eight on the night and got some assistance from two double plays. At that time, the score was 3-0.
However, the eighth inning wasn’t over yet.
The Rockies tacked on an extra run after Martinez left thanks to a single by DJ LeMahieu and a follow-up double by Arenado, pushing the score to 4-0. Mark Reynolds then hit a two-run home run, racking the score up to 6-0. Ian Desmond looped a single into short right, then showed off his speed as he scored from first base on a Trevor Story double. Parra came up, his second time pinch hitting for Senzatela in the inning. and singled to center scored another two runs. Blackmon wrapped up the scoring with an RBI single. The crowd gave a standing ovation after that impressive effort.
Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela was effective and efficient, tossing eight shutout innings with only 98 pitches thrown. Walks had been an issue for him in recent starts but there were no free birds in this game. Senzatela struck out three batters and gave up just five hits which were mostly mitigated by the four double plays the Rockies turned while he was on the mound. Only one Cardinals runner got to second base, with Randal Grichuk wisely hitting a double to reduce the double play possibilities. Senzatela induced eleven groundouts as he became the second Rockies pitcher after German Marquez to throw eight shutout innings at Coors Field this year. Jordan Lyles came on in the ninth and cleanly closed it out.
Beyond the double plays, there were multiple defensive gems in the game. Desmond dove for a ball in left field, making a nice catch. Senzatela and Desmond turned a nifty play over at first base. Also, Nolan knows he’s good.
It’s a bit ironic that in a game with great defense and an inning where the Rockies batted around, the shutout was almost second fiddle...
For the second game of the series tomorrow, Kyle Freeland will go for his fifth major league win against Cardinals’ ace Adam Wainwright. The Saturday game starts at 7:10pm MST.