This one was lost pretty early, as shaky pitching and so-so defense combined with an anemic offense to create a perfect storm of problems for the Rockies, who have now dropped the first two games of their series with San Francisco as they fell 9-2 on Friday.
Senza’s tough outing
Antonio Senzatela had been lucky escaping trouble entering Friday’s start, as evidenced by his 3.75 ERA despite a WHIP just shy of 2.00. That luck ran out in the Bay, as the right-hander paid for his mistakes early and often.
It started in the second inning, when “Senza” opened the inning with a four-pitch walk to Joc Pederson. Thairo Estrada then singled up the middle, just barely out of reach of José Iglesias at short. A walk to Brandon Crawford then loaded the bases with nobody out, and the situation quickly turned dire. A Mauricio Dubón popout sparked hope — the Rockies have turned many double plays, after all — but that was quickly dashed when Luis González recorded a run-scoring infield single before Curt Casali singled to drive in another run (a third would score on the play due to Charlie Blackmon bobbling the ball in right field).
This is one example of the Giants taking advantage of mistakes, but there were plenty more to choose from. In all, Senzatela went just 3 2⁄3 innings and allowed five earned runs on seven hits and two walks with just one strikeout.
Rockies have chances... but no dice
The scoreboard would make you think the Rockies were never in it, but that’s not quite right. In fact, they had a few opportunities to significantly impact the game, such as in the top of the first inning, in which they had two men on with two outs for Elías Díaz, who struck out looking to end the threat.
There was also the sixth inning, during which the Rockies had the bases loaded and just one out while facing reliever Zack Littell. Down 8-1 at that point, a ball in the gap might have cut the San Francisco lead in half, but Garrett Hampson and Sam Hilliard recorded consecutive strikeouts to end any uprising the Rockies were planning.
Colorado finished the game 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position, leaving eight men on base total.
On the bright side, Yonathan Daza continues to impress. He went 2-for-3 with a double and a triple to increase his batting average up to .370 on the season. He also scored a run. Connor Joe went 2-for-5 and increased his hitting streak to six games.
Yonathan Daza's 391 ft triple— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) May 11, 2022
His 1st of the season pic.twitter.com/TH42laWJwU
Relievers hurting as well
It wasn’t just Senzatela that had a bad night in San Francisco. Lucas Gilbreath came into the game in relief with two outs in the fourth inning, and needed just one pitch to Mike Yastrzemski to end the frame. The fifth inning wouldn’t go so smoothly, though, as he battled wildness from the get-go. He began by plunking pinch-hitter Darin Ruf before coaxing a fielder’s choice groundout from Thairo Estrada. Back-to-back singles by Crawford and Dubon loaded the bases for the Giants, and Gilbreath would walk in two straight runs before finally being relieved himself.
Jhoulys Chacín would get tagged for a run himself, as back-to-back doubles in the eighth inning added the ninth run to San Francisco’s ledger. Chacín now owns a 7.43 ERA on the season. The Rockies pitching staff allowed five walks total in the loss — a stat that aided the Giants victory greatly. Ty Blach, at least, pitched well — his 2 2⁄3 innings of scoreless relief were sorely needed to aid an ailing Colorado relief corps.
In all, the Giants were able to take control quickly and never really gave up the advantage. San Francisco has won nine straight against the Rockies, and has recorded double-digit hits in each game.
The Rockies will try to salvage a game from their series with the Giants when they do battle in the last of their set on Wednesday. Chad Kuhl (3-0, 1.82 ERA), Colorado’s best starter thus far, will start. The Giants send out a second straight Alex — this time, Alex Cobb (1-1, 4.80 ERA).