Two batters into Friday’s series opener against the Diamondbacks, it was clear something was up with Antonio Senzatela.
And two innings into the game, it felt like the outcome was already decided.
Senzatela’s departure with a shoulder issue after a couple frames of work left the bullpen to hold the fort and the offense to pick up the slack, neither of which happened in a 9-3 defeat at Coors Field.
“I felt like my shoulder was super tight as soon as I threw the first pitch warming up before the game,” Senzatela said. “It was really tight and felt like something wasn’t normal. I was thinking hopefully it would go away after I warmed up, but it never went away. After every pitch, it bothered me a lot. I wanted to pitch more but (the coaching staff) felt it was best for me to come out.”
Manager Bud Black said the Rockies will re-examine Senzatela on Saturday. It’s the second straight game a Rockies pitcher has been pulled due to injury, as German Marquez was yanked from his start in the fourth inning on Wednesday against Los Angeles due to a cut on his right thumb. Black said he expects Marquez to make his next scheduled start.
“(Saturday) we’ll know a little bit more (about Senzatela) and see how it looks 24 hours later,” Black said.
The Diamondbacks jumped on the Rockies quickly, needing only four pitches to plate a run off the inconsistent Senzatela. Josh Rojas led off with a double and Alek Thomas followed with an RBI triple. Christian Walker then singled Thomas home to make it 2-0.
Senzatela didn’t look any better in the second, when the right-hander gave up a 426-foot homer to center field by Carson Kelly before departing from the game after the inning. Senzatela said he hasn’t felt tightness like he experienced on Friday before in his career.
Southpaw Ty Blach took over and performed admirably, tossing four innings of one-run ball. His lone blemish came in the sixth, when David Peralta hit a hanging curveball 420 feet into the Rockies’ bullpen in right-center field.
“Ty did a great job, but our two more veteran relievers got nicked up,” Black said. “They got to those two fellas with balls out over the plate after Ty kept us right there for the middle part of the game.”
Colorado’s offense, meanwhile, did little against Diamondbacks Merrill Kelly. The right-hander finished with one earned run on five hits across seven innings, with three strikeouts.
“His stuff played tonight,” Black said. “Fastball has sink to it, changeup he could go to in any count…. He moved the ball and kept us off-balance.”
The Rockies plated an unearned run in the fifth and Ryan McMahon roped his seventh homer of the year 429 feet to right field off Kelly in the seventh, but that wasn’t enough to make up for the Diamondbacks tagging right-hander Robert Stephenson for a pair of runs in both the seventh and the eighth.
Charlie Blackmon added a homer in the eighth to make it 8-3 — the second birthday homer of his career — but the Diamondbacks got the run right back on a wild pitch by Carlos Estevez in the ninth. With his homer, Blackmon passed Larry Walker for second in franchise history with 2,521 total bases.
As a silver lining, the Rockies defense was stellar as Colorado dropped to 33-44 on the year, two games behind Arizona in the cellar of the National League West. McMahon had two web gems at third base, and shortstop Jose Iglesias had a backhanded play with a spinning throw that wowed the crowd.
The Rockies are still last in MLB with 58 errors, but McMahon believes the Colorado defense is trending back toward where it should’ve been all along.
“I know how it looked (early in the season) and I know how it was, but I know the type of defenders we are and I think you’re starting to see that,” McMahon said.
Meanwhile, over in Philadelphia, Nolan Arenado hit for his second career cycle. The Cardinals’ third baseman first career cycle came with Colorado, of course, when Arenado hit a walk-off homer on Father’s Day in 2017 to complete the feat at Coors Field.