The Colorado Rockies wanted to ensure that Mother’s Day was special this year. They did exactly that – defeating the San Diego Padres, 10-7 at Coors Field.
Donning pink hats and various other accessories, the Rockies jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back. With Antonio Senzatela on the mound, Colorado was able to cruise through the first six innings with ease.
After the Padres made things interesting in the top of the seventh, cutting the Rockies’ lead to 5-3 – the offense responded with a five runs of their own in the bottom.
San Diego made things interesting, scoring four runs in the top of the ninth. But the Rockies were ultimately able to hold on for the home victory.
Below are four takeaways from Sunday’s outing.
Senzatela continues to inspire
Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela famously lost his mother before breaking into the big leagues and honors before each start as a result. Now for the second time in three seasons, the 24-year-old has delivered for the Rockies in memorable fashion on Mother’s Day.
On May 14, 2017, Senzatela struck out five in a five-inning performance. In the gutsy victory from the then-rookie pitcher, what stood out most was the passion that Senzatela pitched with. After closing out the fifth inning, an emotional Senzatela pointed to the sky as Rockies fans watched in awe.
Senzatela came up big for the Rockies once again on Sunday. The third-year pro only was charged with three runs in six and two thirds innings – and at one point, retired 12 consecutive batters. Senzatela successfully mixed pitch locations throughout, made the Padres work for quality looks and did a nice job of not creating traffic on the basepaths.
Chuck Nazty is back
When Charlie Blackmon got off to a slow start at the plate this season, many Rockies fans wondered if the 32-year-old right fielder might be past his prime. Blackmon has quickly proven that he is dangerous at the plate, though.
In May, Blackmon has 10 extra-base hits, including five home runs. On Sunday, Blackmon left the yard twice. The first home run was a 464-foot blast to right field and put the Rockies up 4-0 in the second inning. Blackmon then turned on a fastball in the bottom of the fourth, sending it 450 feet to dead center field.
In total, Blackmon finished the day two-of-four at the dish and recorded three runs batted in.
Rockies benefit from the bottom of the lineup
It’s no secret that the top of the lineup traditionally receives most of the glory, but Colorado is currently getting big-time production from the bottom three hitters. Batters six through eight were a combined 6-of-12 at the plate in Sunday’s victory over San Diego.
What’s more, catcher Tony Wolters (.301) and outfielder Raimel Tapia (.313) are both consistently throwing out quality at-bats.
In Colorado’s highly productive second inning, the rally began with doubles from Tapia and Ryan McMahon. Wolters kept things going with an RBI single. And Blackmon really broke things open with a two-run dinger.
If the Rockies are going to compete for a third consecutive postseason appearance, getting this kind of offensive output from the bottom of the lineup will be crucial.
Rockies must build off series victory over Padres
Colorado has not played many games within the division yet, but as it currently stands, the Rockies are 8-9 against NL West opponents.
Moving forward, the Rockies must find ways to win home games, especially against NL West teams. In 2018, Colorado finished the season with a record of 41-36 against divisional foes, including the tiebreaker loss to Los Angeles.
The Rockies should aim to match or surpass this total in 2019 if they want to be contenders in the National League.