The last week had been a whirlwind for the Colorado Rockies. A 4-3 homestand that could’ve been 6-1 left the team wishing for more.
Against the Diamondbacks in the first game of an extended road trip against National League West foes, the tides shifted. In the 8-1 victory, the Rockies garnered a good start from Antonio Senzatela, a pinch of luck and a bevy of hard-hit balls.
Ahead are takeaways from the rebound victory.
Senzatela yields light contact in solid outing
There are two hitters parks in the National League West. Both Chase Field and Coors Field are known hitters havens. In his latest nod, Antonio Senzatela conquered the former, rattling the Diamondbacks throughout.
It was readily apparent that the hurler’s control was off. In the first four innings, Senzatela had nearly as many balls (24) as strikes (33), with his fastball failing to catch the corners of the zone.
Despite a bevy of inaccuracies, Senzatela battled, limiting the Diamondbacks’ offense to only three hits and no runs in that span. Even when the youngster allowed a notch in the score column in the fifth, it was on weak contact.
Of the two hits in the frame, one was a bunt that crept over the head of Senzatela, while the other was a seeing-eye single. A grounder from David Peralta ended the shutout efforts.
Across his 6.2 innings, Senzatela finished the outing with only one run allowed and seven hits. He did walk four but countered his control issues with five punchouts.
Charlie keeps slicing hits through opposing defense
An old expression in baseball characterizes a baseball as a beach ball when a player is on a hot streak. For Charlie Blackmon, the ball being pitched to him on a nightly basis may as well be a yoga ball.
To lead off the matchup, the outfielder sliced a double down the right-field line to extend his on-base streak to 28 games. Among NL players, he has the longest spree.
Since the start of May, Blackmon has now gone 51-for-127 (.401) after his three-hit effort on Tuesday. In just 10 games in the month of June, he leads the majors with a .510 average among hitters with at least 25 plate appearances.
In the last five games, the veteran has three-or-more hits in each. He’s the first hitter in franchise history to accomplish the feat.
After being named NL Player of the Week for his efforts in the team’s most recent homestand, Blackmon appears to be vying for a Player of the Month award in June.
Nolan breaks his miniature slump early
A slump from the Rockies’ cornerstone, Nolan Arenado, is hardly ever a long-lasting affair.
While his teammates have feasted on opposing pitching in June, Arenado had yet to join the club. In 53 at-bats before their latest contest, he’d hit just .226 with only two extra-base hits.
With Blackmon on second and an early chance at a lead, Arenado came through, sending both the ball and his slump far away:
At home. On the road. Doesn't matter.
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) June 19, 2019
The home run was the 18th of the year for the third baseman who leads the team after his latest outburst. He finished the game 3-for-4 with an intentional walk, making his presence felt in the opener of a three-game set.
In Arizona, Arenado has now gone 57-for-202 in his career, good for a .282 average. He’s also gone deep nine times in 53 games.
Fortunes reverse course for Rockies after rough weekend set
Against the Padres, the Rockies had four games in which they led by multiple runs entering the ninth inning. Instead of a sweep, the hosts were only able to secure a series split.
A bullpen implosion, stalled offense and lack of fielding prowess late in games all led to the devastating losses. With luck back on their side, the Rockies came through.
In their four-run sixth inning, Daniel Murphy was able to extend the inning after hitting the glove of Diamondbacks’ catcher, Carson Kelly. The blunder from the backstop paved the way for a Ryan McMahon double to score a pair.
With the newly-minted second baseman at third, Tony Wolters swung through a ball that Kelly thought was a foul tip. With no signal from umpire Ted Barrett, McMahon raced home to put the club up 6-1, a margin that they refused to yield.
Baseball is a game of highs and lows. After their downtrodden streak led them astray from a sweep, the Rockies appear to have found their luck once again.