Eyeing a sweep against the Chicago Cubs, the Colorado Rockies endured one of their weirder games of the year.
In their season-worst, 10-1 loss, the home team was also dealt an injury to their star player, courtesy of baseball’s outdated customs. Due to the pair of significant losses, the game was marred by constant hit by pitches and an ice-cold Rockies’ offense.
Ahead are takeaways from the contest.
Arenado bears the burden of unwritten rules
A concerted game plan of pitching inside to Kris Bryant in Tuesday’s win appears to have been cause for retaliation. Antonio Senzatela, utilizing a similar plan against Kyle Schwarber, was the final straw.
After Schwarber was nearly hit, as well as several other Cubs’ hitters, Cole Hamels took matters into his own hands. In the third inning, he threw a fastball well inside and off the arm of Rockies’ star, Nolan Arenado.
The 90-mile-per-hour fastball appeared to strike Arenado directly on the forearm, a plunking that had the normally subdued third baseman furious. Multiple words were exchanged between him and Hamels before Arenado resigned himself to first base.
After toughing through another inning, Arenado was pulled with a left forearm contusion. The severity of the injury, beyond a bruise, is unknown.
Later in the game, Charlie Blackmon was nearly hit in the head, while Hamels, Anthony Rizzo and Tony Wolters were hit by pitches, bringing the game’s total to four. Though the benches didn’t clear, the tension was high all game.
Cole Hamels makes widespread waves
While the story coming from the Cubs’ rout will be animosity between the two clubs, Cole Hamels’ day was hardly defined by a hit batsman.
On the mound and at the plate, the veteran enjoyed success.
After another seven scoreless innings, Hamels stretched his scoreless streak to 23.1 consecutive frames. The former Phillies’ standout has combined with Jon Lester to form a highly-formidable, top-of-the-rotation duo for the Cubs.
His season earned run average fell once again to 2.98 following the performance, with his career ERA against the Rockies falling to a sterling 2.93.
Expounding his efforts, Hamels also enjoyed a 2-for-3 day at the plate with a pair of RBIs and a hit by pitch.
Senzatela marred by pair of catastrophic frames
If you took out the second and fifth inning of Antonio Senzatela’s latest outing, it was hard to complain. Unfortunately for the up-and-down starter of the Rockies, baseball counts each.
The second inning was the killer for the team’s chances of a sweep. After a clean first inning that included a pair of punchouts, things unraveled for the youngster.
In his dooming second stanza, Senzatela allowed four hits before getting his first out, eventually allowing a back-breaking moonshot to Schwarber:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 12, 2019
A three-run fifth inning – all inherited runners let in by Jake McGee – brought Senzatela’s woeful line to a conclusion. He threw four innings and allowed six earned runs (eight total) and walked four. The two early whiffs were the only ones on the day for the hurler.
The blunder brought Senzatela’s ERA to 5.48 on the year and was the third time in 12 starts that he’s allowed six-or-more runs without reaching the five-inning mark.
Under-the-radar Dahl keeps trucking along
Nationwide, it is seldom discussed that David Dahl has been in the midst of a breakout campaign in 2019. After multiple freak injuries sapped his playing time early in his career, a resurgence has begun.
Since May 18th, Dahl has failed to get a hit just four times in 24 games. After a 3-for-4 showing in the losing effort, his average is up to .376 in that same span, with 12 extra-base hits to show for his efforts.
On the year, Dahl’s .332 average sits top-five in the National League, directly above Josh Bell and the aforementioned Arenado. Though his counting stats pale in comparison given his spot in the lineup, the young outfielder is making waves for a Rockies’ club seeking a playoff berth.
With the departure of D.J. LeMahieu, finding a worthy replacement already in Dahl has been pivotal.