Senzatela's 1 mistake costs Rockies in season debut

May 6th, 2023

NEW YORK -- Right-hander was dealing for most of his season debut Friday night at Citi Field against the Mets. But one mistake ended up costing him, and the Rockies lost, 1-0, to snap their four-game winning streak.

Senzatela’s season started late because he was recovering from a torn left ACL suffered last August against the Cardinals, causing his third IL stint in 2022 after a lower back strain and shoulder inflammation.

“It was real frustrating because, in the offseason, you work really hard to be healthy all year,” Senzatela said. “But it’s part of the game. [Injuries] happen in baseball. I just try to keep my mentality [on the good side]. I’m really happy to be back.”

Senzatela is healthy now and gave the Mets fits during his five innings on the mound. He retired the first nine hitters he faced, but he found himself on the losing end after Brandon Nimmo hit a homer on the first pitch of the fourth inning to give New York a one-run lead. 

“I made one mistake, and it cost me the game, but I think we really played a good game today,” Senzatela said. “The Mets threw better than us.”

Senzatela tried to throw the pitch to Nimmo on the outside part of the plate, but the ball went down and in. The pitch ended up in Nimmo’s power zone, and he hit the ball over the right-center-field wall for his third home run of the season. 

"I mean, he's just good,” Nimmo said of Senzatela. “I've faced him for a long time now. He angles his fastball in well. He pitches his changeup off of it well with the lefties and can go with his offspeed to both sides of the plate, and I think he does a good job reading swings on whether he should use his cutter or his two-seam or go straight to the offspeed. 

“He has many different pitches that move just a little bit differently than the others, and so when they do that well and they tunnel that well, it makes him hard to square up."

Rockies manager Bud Black was impressed by what he saw from Senzatela.

“I thought Senzatela pitched great,” Black said. “I liked the fact that he really mixed his pitches well. The changeup was great. Slider was solid. The fastball, from my vantage point, looked as though he was moving the ball in and out.” 

Senzatela left the game after throwing 69 pitches, and he acknowledged to Black that he felt fatigued after five innings. He felt he left the game on a positive note.

“It’s a good step for me to throw five innings. I felt really good,” Senzatela said.  

The Rockies threatened in the final two innings but couldn’t pull through. With Mets right-hander David Robertson on the mound, Colorado had runners on first and second with two outs in the eighth. Ryan McMahon hit what looked like a clean base hit to right field, but the ball hit pinch-runner on the leg for an automatic out to end the inning.

As Doyle walked toward the Rockies' dugout, he was upset and talking to himself. But McMahon would have none of it. He gave Doyle a pat on the back and assured him that everything was OK. 

“I’ve been over there before,” McMahon said. “I smoked that one pretty good. It’s not like [he was trying to get hit]. I know he was probably feeling bad, trying to get out of the way. I was just trying to pick him up. That’s what teammates are there to do for each other.”

Mets right-hander Adam Ottavino was on the mound in the ninth, and Colorado had another chance to at least tie the score. The Rockies had Randal Grichuk on third base with one out, but pinch-hitter Mike Moustakas struck out and Charlie Blackmon lined out to right fielder Starling Marte to end the game.  

“Last play of the game, that was a bullet to Marte. That’s baseball,” Black said. “But the guys played hard. We played good defense. We pitched great. We had good swings. We had a good plan against their starter [Kodai Senga]. He has good stuff. You can see why he gets the strikeouts. We matched him. The Mets had one good swing from the center fielder.”