A great start for Senzatela, some timely offense, great defense - everything came up Rockies on Friday night as they bested the Reds 10-4 in the first game of their series.
Looking to put his rough outing in Detroit behind him, Antonio Senzatela toed the rubber in front of the Coors faithful and looked every bit the dominant starter that so many believe he can be. The right-hander threw 6 1⁄3 innings of one-run baseball, working around seven hits and two walks while recording a strikeout. He dealt with traffic, but never allowed things to get out of hand (thanks chiefly due to some phenomenal defense - we’ll get to that).
Senzatela, who has struggled against Cincinnati in his career (a 6.94 ERA entering today’s game), is surely happy with the steps taken in Friday’s affair.
Antonio Senzatela— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) April 30, 2022
6.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO pic.twitter.com/vctMgDZG9Q
Nine is fine
The Rockies struggled mightily in the run-scoring department while away in Detroit and Philadelphia, and with Kris Bryant officially hitting the injured list earlier today it would have been reasonable to assume that those woes would continue. Those fears were put to bed, however, as the Colorado bats lit up Cincinnati's arms throughout the evening. Reds starter Hunter Greene was more or less fine for the first four innings, allowing just a run on an Elías Díaz home run to that point in the game.
It came apart in the fifth, though. In the bottom of that frame, Charlie Blackmon led off with a double to center field. Randal Grichuk then struck out before C.J. Cron jumped on a first-pitch fastball to put runners at first and third with one out. Ryan McMahon then launched a home run deep into the Denver night to put the score at 4-1.
The Rockies would add runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings against a struggling Reds bullpen. Think they’re happy to be home?
Double plays for days
It’s fair to say Colorado’s defense has been shaky these last few games. Something clicked on Friday, though, as the Rockies fielders showed up reinvigorated. Take, for instance, Sam Hilliard diving to take a hit away from Aramis Garcia to open the third inning.
Sam Hilliard makes a great catch pic.twitter.com/SwKfttaecR— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) April 30, 2022
Do you like double plays? Then you came to the right place, as the Rockies were able to turn four throughout the game. The Rockies lead all of baseball in that category, and they’re likely to keep that title if they keep going at the rate they’re at currently.
Bullpen locks it down
After Senzatela departed, the Rockies relief corps came in to shut things down entirely. Jhoulys Chacín and Álex Colomé looked solid in their 1 2⁄3 innings of work, with just one hit and one walk allowed between the two of them. Ashton Goudeau admittedly struggled in the ninth inning, as the Reds touched him up for three earned runs on four hits (three in a row with two outs) and a walk. He eventually got through it, and the Rockies got the victory to improve to 11-9 on the season.
The Rox and Reds run it back on Saturday. Chad Kuhl (2-0, 1.10 ERA), arguably the season’s biggest surprise thus far, gets the start for Colorado. He’ll face off against Connor Overton, who’s making his season debut.