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Senzatela's command off mark vs. Tigers

Rockies pull rookie after 4 runs on 82 pitches in 3 2/3 IP
MLB.com

DENVER -- Young Rockies pitchers have fluctuated in and out of the rotation for much of the second half of the season, and Antonio Senzatela didn't help his cause in a 4-3 loss to the Tigers on Monday night.

Senzatela lasted just 3 2/3 innings on 82 pitches (47 strikes), giving up four runs on six hits and three walks. Monday was only his fifth start since June 22, when he was moved to the bullpen and demoted to Triple-A Albuquerque shortly thereafter to keep his innings under control.

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DENVER -- Young Rockies pitchers have fluctuated in and out of the rotation for much of the second half of the season, and Antonio Senzatela didn't help his cause in a 4-3 loss to the Tigers on Monday night.

Senzatela lasted just 3 2/3 innings on 82 pitches (47 strikes), giving up four runs on six hits and three walks. Monday was only his fifth start since June 22, when he was moved to the bullpen and demoted to Triple-A Albuquerque shortly thereafter to keep his innings under control.

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"The breaking pitches, and even the fastball command was off," manager Bud Black said. "The ball-strike ratio, not great. The walks. A lot of behind-in-the-count at-bats.

"He struggled tonight and weaved through it, only gave up the four runs. But that wasn't typical of how we've seen him pitch for the majority of this year."

Senzatela threw just 34 2/3 innings at Double-A last year after dealing with shoulder injuries. The resulting traffic Monday drove up the rookie's pitch count early, which was a big concern, Black said. But Black stopped short of elaborating on Senzatela's role going forward.

Senzatela said he felt fine mechanically, but felt his command was lacking.

"I didn't feel like I was in a good rhythm tonight," Senzatela said. "They got me in the big situations when I walked three guys. It was just a bad outing for me."

Jonathan Lucroy, who caught Senzatela's last two starts, said Senzatela didn't look too different against the Tigers -- his only mistake was not executing pitches.

"He prepares like he usually does. I didn't see anything different from that standpoint," Lucroy said. "I kept checking on him to make sure he was all right. He's a young starter, and sometimes guys go out there and they tend to press in big situations."

The Rockies have Jeff Hoffman in Triple-A, but he gave up six runs in two-thirds of an inning in his first start with Albuquerque on Thursday. Tyler Anderson struggled in his first rehab start Sunday, giving up four runs in an inning, and Tyler Chatwood will likely remain in the bullpen for the foreseeable future.

But with September comes roster expansion, and Black said the Rockies will be looking forward to that.

"This time of year, man, just do everything you can to get your outs," Black said. "We're going to have expanded rosters here before long, and we're going to have reinforcements -- as will other teams -- but Antonio's doing OK. This was a rough one for him tonight."

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

Colorado Rockies, Antonio Senzatela