Colorado won a series 2-1 against St. Louis last week. Those three games were at Coors Field, where the Rockies have won seven of their past 10 games against St. Louis.
The momentum seems to disappear in the Gateway City, where Colorado has lost 14 of their last 15 games. The Rockies have been winless at Busch Stadium since 2018.
There is an Adam Wainwright-sized blockade in the way this afternoon: to make matters worse, he just pitched a complete game in his last start. A nine-inning effort against the Brewers last Saturday lowered his season ERA to a 3.27, which is pretty darn good for a 40-year-old on pace for around 200 innings this year.
For the fifth-consecutive season, Wainwright’s primary pitch is his curveball. Also for the fifth consecutive season, his primary offering when behind in counts is a curveball. This pitch will often show a sicking amount of movement, particularly with two strikes, and trusting it in nearly all situations could explain how the Wainwright has continued to dominate in his 17th season in the big leagues.
Wainwright’s curveball use against Milwaukee last Saturday was at a season-high 41.3%. His second-highest rate of the year came one start prior (40%), so it could be safe to reason the Rockies will be seeing a steady clip of one of the most iconic 12-6 curveballs in recent baseball history.
Taking the hill in the bottom of the first will be Antonio Senzatela, making his 19th start of 2022. He is trending upward; in three starts this month, the right-hander has posted a 3.79 ERA, lowering his season figure from a 4.90 to a 4.67. His last outing came at home against the Diamondbacks last Friday, where he tossed six innings and allowed three runs on five hits. He will be working on one extra day of rest than Wainwright, thanks to Colorado’s off day on Monday.
Senzatela continues to throw more than 50% fastballs, a trend that dates back to his 2017 rookie season. His strikeout percentage currently ranks in MLB’s third percentile, so against a St. Louis lineup with proven extra-base power, Senzatela’s success today could come down to working ahead in counts with a fastball and sitting hitters down with a slider.
During a 1-5 defeat on Wednesday, the Rockies did not throw many top relievers. Closer Daniel Bard has not pitched in the last six days (!), while a trio of Carlos Estévez, Lucas Gilbreath and Dinelson Lamet were able to rest after throwing a combined 54 pitches on Tuesday.
St. Louis will likely be without setup man Giovanny Gallegos today, having thrown a combined 35 pitches in back-to-back games. Closer (and All-Star) Ryan Helsley rested on Wednesday after throwing 12 pitches on Tuesday.
First Pitch: 11:15 a.m. MDT
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain (COL), Bally Sports Midwest (STL); MLB.TV
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)
Day baseball in:— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 18, 2022
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