We’ve got a getaway-day finale on our hands: some Coors Field afternoon action will decide a series winner between the Rockies (14-10) and Nationals (9-17). Before Colorado heads to the Valley of the Sun this weekend, they will first look to stifle a Washington squad that has lost 10 of their last 13 — but has won two of their last three.
Aaron Sanchez takes the ball for the Nationals this afternoon, currently holding a six-year high in ERA (6.75) but a six-year best in xFIP (3.46). Predictive metrics suggest he’s been pitching far better than his results may show.
Sanchez’s sinker use has increased significantly since last season, and the late drop on the pitch could play favorable in limiting his damage in a potent run-scoring environment. This could be a key reason his FIP is where it is right now; the sinker use could be even higher this afternoon at altitude, perhaps taking the place of the curveball he often favors for strikeouts.
Antonio Senzatela returns to the hill this afternoon after holding Reds to a single run over 6 1⁄3 innings. His fourth start of the year featured seven hits and a single strikeouts — inside Coors Field, where a line like that often isn’t favorable — so he had some tremendous fortune working for him on balls in play. Most of his contact either 1. found a glove, or 2. landed for a hit, but in a favorable situation. It was a serious turnaround after BABIP misfortune plagued much of his first three outings.
Daniel Bard and Tyler Kinley threw a combined 30 pitches in relief on Wednesday; Bard doesn’t often throw on back-to-back days, but the Colorado bullpen is otherwise well-rested at this point in the season. Carlos Estévez has not pitched since Sunday, while Alex Colomé hasn’t thrown since last Friday.
First Pitch: 1:10 p.m. MDT
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain (COL), Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (WAS); MLB.tv
*Today’s game will also be televised free on YouTube
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)
Nationals’ lineup for their series finale against the Rockies:— Matt Weyrich (@ByMattWeyrich) May 5, 2022
2B César Hernández
RF Juan Soto
1B Josh Bell
DH Yadiel Hernández
3B Maikel Franco
C Keibert Ruiz
LF Dee Strange-Gordon
CF Victor Robles
SS Alcides Escobar
SP Aaron Sanchez (1-1, 6.75 ERA)