Rockies secure series win over Reds behind big day from McMahon

Jul 14, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies second baseman Ryan McMahon (24) runs to home plate to score a run against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off the All-Star break, the Colorado Rockies are doing their best to compete.

Heading into the stoppage, they’d lost six straight games, including a sweep at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

With their 10-9 win on Sunday, the Rockies ensured a series win to start their final half of play. They’ll host the San Francisco Giants for a four-game set starting Monday.

Ahead are takeaways from the win.

McMahon continues hot-swinging July

Nothing has come easy for Ryan McMahon. When he hit a lull earlier in the year, the club even called up Brendan Rodgers as a possible succession plan.

After battling through it all, he’s putting things together in July.

Before the All-Star break, McMahon had a hit in all four of his starts, with his only hitless outing coming in a pinch-hit situation.

While the multiple days off allowed him to rest, his hitting spree has stayed awake. Against the Reds, he went 3-for-4 and now has a .393 average in July. A small sample size disclaimer is in order, but it would be his best average in any month this season.

His first hit of the game – a two-run double – put the Rockies up 3-0 before the team let go of the lead in the fifth frame. Later on, his run-scoring triple boosted his count to three runs driven in on the day.

On his nearly flawless day at the plate, McMahon fell a home run shy of the cycle.

Free of finger brace, Murphy is thriving

Though he battled through a finger injury in the season’s first series, Daniel Murphy was not the same player. Part of the reason was the lack of comfort with his hand due to a brace for the ailing finger.

After recently shedding the hindrance, he’s taken off.

In his last five games, Murphy has homered three times, including his first long ball at Coors Field. While he didn’t hit one out of the ballpark Sunday, he did go 2-for-4 with a pair of runs driven in.

Through that same five-game span, he’s hitting .611 with six extra-base hits and six RBIs, bringing his season total to 49.

When the Rockies have hit valleys, the veteran has often been absent. When he’s on, the club has been able to string together mighty offensive performances.

In the seven games, Murphy has registered three-or-more hits in this year. Across those instances, the Rockies have scored eight-or-more runs five times. Their record in those games in 5-2.

Senzatela’s great run comes to a halt

It doesn’t get much more under-the-radar than Antonio Senzatela’s recent string of starts.

Before Sunday, he’d allowed two-or-fewer runs in six of his last seven starts dating back to May 28. In all, he’d allowed three-or-fewer runs in 11 of his 16 starts in 2019.

The bad games have become more of an anomaly for the younger hurler. His latest start was one of them.

Outside of three respective frames in which he faced the minimum, Senzatela’s outing was rough. In both the second and sixth innings, he allowed four runs, falling prey to the extra-base furry of the Reds.

Multiple misplayed balls in the outfield played a role, but Senzatela’s seven hits and eight earned runs allowed was due to more than just botched plays. He left a bevy of balls in the middle of the plate, a recipe for disaster:

Graph courtesy of Statcast

In a year marred by their rotation’s ineffectiveness, the Rockies have fallen prey many times. Though they were able to pull out a win in the latest blunder, the club’s success hinges on a rotation reset.

Bullpen bears down

After one of their worst nights of the year – 12 earned runs – last night, the Rockies bullpen bounced back in a big way.

Jesus Tinoco, Scott Oberg and Wade Davis combined to throw 3.2 one-run frames after a lackluster start from Senzatela. In all, they allowed only () hits.

The biggest story was Davis who’s 5.27 earned run average on the year fails to tell the full tale. He’d managed only 13 saves as well before his latest chance, a far cry from his league-leading 43 last year.

For the Rockies to have success, the bullpen will be needed. When called upon in the club’s latest win, they answered.

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