WEATHER NOTE: First pitch is now scheduled for 7:35 p.m. MDT.
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‘“As I’m getting closer, I’m starting to get a little more nervous about it,” [Arenado] says. “It’s gonna be weird.”’
Tonight marks the first time Nolan Arenado has ever worn opposing colors inside Coors Field. He will bat third in the St. Louis Cardinals lineup.
Some believe Arenado will receive a showering of applause before tonight’s contest; he made an impact in Colorado since his 2013 debut and led the franchise to consecutive postseason appearances for the first time ever.
Some believe a chorus of boos are in store, instead; he expressed continual discontentment with the Rockies following an eight-year contract extension. In April, Arenado stated that he never received a curtain call before coming to St. Louis. His intent with such a comment may have been in simple praise of Cardinals fans, but it served as a secondhand slap in the face to Rockies faithful—and could lead to a halfhearted reception when he steps to the plate.
The Rockies will display a video tribute to Arenado on the scoreboard before tonight’s game, so a definitive moment will transpire where all eyes are him—and the collective attitude by Rockies fans is revealed.
After that, it is business as usual. Arenado will man the hot corner again this evening—albeit during the bottom half of innings—and the Rockies will look to build some momentum during the always-highly-attended Fourth of July weekend series.
Colorado may relish the ability to play spoiler: St. Louis is currently clinging onto the final wild card spot in the National League. Their team wRC+ ranks a dismal 26th out of 30, and a source for continual team dismay has seemed to follow Arenado east. Meanwhile, the Rockies’ 28-16 record inside Coors Field speaks well on their chances in this series.
Adam Wainwright (3.59 ERA/3.93 FIP) will make his 342nd career start this evening. His ERA+ in 2021 sits at an above-average 104 and he has allowed just two earned runs in his last 13 innings of work. Wainwright features a tried-and-true mix of mainly curveballs and sinkers, and his pitch use hasn’t changed much in the past four years. (His spin rate figures have been quite consistent this year too, so the 39-year-old doesn’t seem to be depending on a foreign substance during the presumed latter stages of his career.) Tonight will be the 289th time he has started with Yadier Molina behind the plate.
The Rockies will counter with Antonio Senzatela (4.76 ERA/4.12 FIP) as he makes his 16th start of the year. He last pitched on Saturday against the Brewers (5 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K), matching his season-high walk total but leaving 70 percent of his runners on base over 98 pitches. Out of a four-pitch mix, we can expect to see primarily fastballs and sliders from Senzatela. His fastball use has increased over his past three starts, while his changeup and curveball were seldom thrown in Milwaukee.
Start Time: 6:40 p.m. MDT
TV: AT&T SportsNet, MLB.TV
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)
Start number 2⃣8⃣9⃣ for Waino and Yadi! pic.twitter.com/MriZw5L0oX— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 1, 2021