In another game littered with missed opportunities, the Colorado Rockies once again took a tough loss against a team with a losing record in the opener of a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers. Despite tallying 13 hits, the Rockies came up with just three runs in the 4-3 loss, going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and leaving 11 men on base.
Antonio Senzatela has had a unique season. At one point near the top of the leader boards in a number of starting pitching categories, he has been moved to and from the bullpen in an effort to preserve his arm and has mostly proven to be capable in both roles regardless of the time of the switch. But for really the first time in 2017, he threw a complete clunker, unable to complete even four innings of work.
Senzatela entered Monday night's game with a 7.58 ERA and .377 avg. against in the first inning. That troubling trend continued as he surrendered two runs on three hits and a walk, requiring a double play on his 28th pitch of the frame to limit the damage.
The Rockies similarly made Jordan Zimmerman expel a ton of energy in the first, making him throw 32 pitches and recording a pair of base hits on singles from DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado. But, as has so often been the case lately, the Rockies were unable to score either runner.
Colorado took the lead in the third, though, getting a lead-off single from Ian Desmond in his first at-bat off the Disabled List. Desmond was also a late entry to the game with Carlos Gonzalez being scratched with a sore left ankle. The returning Rockie scored on the first home run in a Rockies uniform from catcher Jonathan Lucroy who turned on an inside fastball and hit a high line drive over the left field fence to tie the game.
Trevor Story followed the homer with an opposite field double off the very top of the high wall in right, his 21st two-bagger of the year. He moved to third on a sac bunt from Senzatela and score on a single up the middle from the National League hit leader, Charlie Blackmon.
But the Tigers took the lead right back in the third after a pair of one-out walks from Senzatela led to a two-RBI groundball triple from Nicholas Castellanos.
After giving up a single to his opposite number and with a rising pitch count, Senzatela was removed in the fourth inning after getting two outs. He had thrown 82 pitches. He had trouble getting the outside fastball called for a strike right-on-right, especially in that at-bat to Zimmerman, but ultimately it was just not a good night for Senza. He was replaced by Chris Rusin who struck out Alex Presley to end the third.
Rusin pitched beautifully over his 2.1 innings, giving up just two hits and striking out three without walking a batter. He caused a bit of a stir by using his patented quick-pitch to get a big strike out of Miguel Cabrera:
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus had words with the home plate umpire afterward but there is nothing about that movie that is illegal.
The Rockies loaded the bases in the sixth with back-to-back singles one-out singles from Alexi Amarista and Blackmon followed by a walk to DJ LeMahieu. Nolan Arenado uncharacteristically struck out and Gerardo Parra followed suit, leaving the Rockies with that all-too-familiar feeling of having missed a great opportunity.
In the top of the seventh, Colorado turned in some nifty defense behind Adam Ottavino who had come on for Rusin, getting a fantastic double from LeMahieu, Story, and Reynolds: