Rockies’ Bud Black not alarmed by poor outings by rookies Antonio Senzatela, Jeff Hoffman

Michel CooperLast Update : Friday 23 June 2017 - 2:20 AM
Rockies’ Bud Black not alarmed by poor outings by rookies Antonio Senzatela, Jeff Hoffman

Antonio Senzatela broke down his performance to its simplest terms.

“I didn’t pitch very good,” the Rockies’ rookie right-hander said late Thursday afternoon after giving up a career-high nine runs in a 10-3 loss to Arizona at Coors Field.

The more complex matter is whether or not the Rockies’ rookie starters, who’ve helped build a 47-28 record and put the club on a playoff path, are beginning to break down as opponents see more of them. Wednesday night, for example, the Diamondbacks torched Jeff Hoffman for nine runs in 3 ⅔ innings.

Rockies manager Bud Black has said multiple times since spring training that his young pitchers would experience peaks and valleys. But he wasn’t clinging to that theory Thursday.

“How many games have we played?” he asked.

Told that the number was 75, Black said: “So this is two games. Time will tell. I think that’s the way I’m going to answer that. This will always be a game of adjustments moving forward.

“In regards to Jeff and Antonio, time will tell. But we have a lot of confidence in them moving forward. We are hoping these guys will continue to grow as pitchers and will continue to win games.”

Maybe so, but there is no getting around the fact that Arizona’s potent lineup pummeled the rookies. In fact, the two games marked just the third time in Rockies history that starters allowed nine or more earned runs in consecutive games. The last time it happened was in 1998 at Seattle when Mike Saipe gave up nine earned runs on July 1 and Darryl Kile gave up 10 the next day.

Senzatela, 9-3 with a 4.79 ERA, said his biggest problem Thursday was a lack of fastball command. That led to a batting practice afternoon for Arizona hitters. Three-run homers — by Chris Owings in the third inning and by Paul Goldschmidt in the fourth — all but put the game out of reach early on.

“It’s tough to overcome two, three-run homers,” Black said. “The pitch to Owings was intended to be inside and a little bit up. It didn’t get there. It stayed in the middle.

“And the pitch to Goldschmidt caught a lot of the plate. And he’s swinging well, he really hot right now. Like a lot of their other guys.”

Goldschmidt is sizzling. He went 3-for-5 with four RBIs Thursday, extending his hitting streak to nine games, during which he’s hit .463 (19-for-41) with five home runs, four doubles and 17 RBIs.

Now it’s time for the Rockies’ young pitchers to adjust.

“These last two games, we got beat,” Black said. “They swung the bats and we didn’t make enough pitches. We talked to Jeff and Antonio about some things, that we will keep private. But I guarantee that we are aware of what’s going on with our players.”

Source: denverpost

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Michel Cooper