The Rockies have made their yearly pilgrimage to Philadelphia. They open a four-game set this evening with a taxed pitching staff that has allowed 29 runs in their last 27 innings.
Antonio Senzatela will come up huge for his club tonight if he can eat a big chunk of innings.
He will look to do so against a Phillies squad that is 2-4 over their last six, and has yet to gain ground this month on the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves. 2.5 games separate those two teams, while Philadelphia is three games out of the NL’s final wildcard spot.
Senzatela has tossed seven innings in three of his past four starts, so he’s primed to work deep tonight as the calendar works deeper into September. His last start came on Sept. 3 against the Braves, a zero-walk affair where the Braves scored three times on Senzatela but lost 4-3. His previous start was a seven-inning shutout masterpiece at Dodger Stadium, and his continued success could land him the Rockies’ ERA crown among starters by the end of the year.
Since returning from the COVID list on August 3, Senzatela has posted a 3.11 ERA (and a stronger 2.74 FIP) in 37 2⁄3 innings.
Ranger Suárez has made 34 appearances on the year, and all seven of his starts have been consecutive since August 7. He’s posted an exceptional 1.88 ERA as a starter since then, striking out 24% of his opponents. Suárez fastball spin ranks in MLB’s second percentile and he’s established himself as a sinker guy that often works low and away to righties.
The lefty has a changeup with some nasty arm-side bite, and that will often be his preferred weapon for strikeouts.
The Rockies again find themselves in a position to play spoiler, while the Phillies will be scoreboard watching the division-leading Braves and wildcard-contending Padres and Reds this weekend.
First Pitch: 5:05 p.m. MDT
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain (COL), NBC Sports Philadelphia (PHI)
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)