Antonio Senzatela pitched like an ace on Sunday, but the Rockies were unable to figure out Marcus Stroman. They ended up losing 2-1 to the Mets, narrowly missing out on a series win.
Senzatela stays grounded
I’m convinced the pitcher that had a rough time against the Dodgers last week and the one that pitched for the Rockies today are two different people. Senzatela pitched brilliantly against the Mets, going six innings and allowing just two runs (one earned) against four strikeouts and no walks. He did a phenomenal job of pounding the strike zone — of his 78 total pitches, 51 were strikes. This allowed Senzatela to force weak contact, recording 11 ground outs throughout his outing. After allowing two hits to start the top of the second inning which would lead to the Mets’ first run, the Rockies starter locked in and did not allow another extra-base hit or earned run (the second New York run followed an error by first baseman C.J. Cron in the fourth, on a ground ball that would have ended the inning).
Antonio Senzatela strikes out Brandon Nimmo [2nd time] pic.twitter.com/qK2ZTsk5MU— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) April 18, 2021
Stroman can throw, man...and field too!
Marcus Stroman matched Senzatela pitch-for-pitch on Sunday, and the 29-year-old righty was untouchable for the majority of his outing. After a base hit by Raimel Tapia to start the game, Stroman took the game into his own hands, not allowing another knock until Trevor Story’s double in the bottom of the seventh. The former Duke Blue Devil retired as many as 11 straight at one point, pitching eight innings with one earned run, three hits, one walk, and five strikeouts in all. This performance helped to lower his season ERA to 0.90, putting him in the top four league leaders in that category below teammate Jacob deGrom.
Arguably the most impressive moment in his day was the wild, athletic play he made on a Josh Fuentes grounder in the bottom of the eighth. I’m not even going to try to describe it; just go ahead and give it a look:
#Mets fan. #Rockies fan. Baseball fan. Who cares? This play by Mets RHP Marcus Stroman was delightful. pic.twitter.com/fVQlBMjbQH— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) April 18, 2021
Speaking of defense...
In a fairly mundane game, there were still some exciting defensive plays. The above play from Stroman was the wildest, but Josh Fuentes’ spinning throw to get Pete Alonso in the top of the fourth was nothing to scoff at. The Rockies’ best play of the day, though, was their 9-4-5 putout of Jeff McNeil. A double to right off the bat, Charlie Blackmon got the ball to relay man Ryan McMahon, who threw a dart to Josh Fuentes. Fuentes then dove to tag McNeil just before McNeil could reach third, and after a replay review, this great play stood as called:
9-4-5 putout pic.twitter.com/AYL5huq68T— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) April 18, 2021
Story’s steal stalls
The Rockies had their chance in the ninth inning. After retiring the first two batters in the ninth inning, Mets closer Edwin Díaz allowed a base hit to Trevor Story to let the tying run on base, which brought the winning run to the plate in the form of Charlie Blackmon. Could Blackmon be the hero and send Coors Field into a frenzy?
Alas, we’ll never know. Story took off from first and was gunned down on a perfect throw-and-tag by catcher James McCann and shortstop Francisco Lindor. A replay review confirmed the call, and the Rockies lost in heartbreaking fashion.
If you're going to lose, go down aggressive. I am certain #Rockies Trevor Story had the green light here.— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) April 18, 2021
If making bases bigger or whatever makes teams try this down one run in the ninth, count me in. pic.twitter.com/7e8KEzOmpK
Coming up next
The Rockies get a day off on Monday before welcoming the Astros to Denver for a two-game series. Jon Gray will start on Tuesday for the Rockies against Lance McCullers, who is currently listed as the starter for Houston but that may change. McCullers has suffered some side effects from his COVID-19 vaccination and may be unable to travel to the Mile High City.