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Rockies, Senzatela unable to outsmart Dodgers

Rookies Hampson, Hilliard hit second homers of series vs. Los Angeles
@SarahWexler32
September 22, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- A 7-4 loss in Sunday’s finale at Dodger Stadium brought the Rockies’ 2019 slate against the Dodgers to a close, with everything unraveling in a tough fifth inning. Antonio Senzatela held the Dodgers scoreless for four innings before yielding opposing starter Hyun-Jin Ryu’s first career home run

LOS ANGELES -- A 7-4 loss in Sunday’s finale at Dodger Stadium brought the Rockies’ 2019 slate against the Dodgers to a close, with everything unraveling in a tough fifth inning.

Antonio Senzatela held the Dodgers scoreless for four innings before yielding opposing starter Hyun-Jin Ryu’s first career home run to open the bottom of the fifth frame. The unexpected blast changed the game’s complexion, as Senzatela was unable to rebound from it.

Box score

“I just felt really bad, because I missed that fastball up and middle for the Ryu homer,” said Senzatela. “After that, it just felt like I didn’t throw really good pitches.”

Manager Bud Black also saw that as a turning point for his pitcher and for the game. After Senzatela allowed a walk and a pair of hits to load the bases, Black gave the right-hander the hook before he could record an out in the frame.

“It looked like he hit a wall, I think,” said Black. “After the home run to Ryu, it was as though he came out of his mechanics. Couldn’t really locate pitches thereafter.”

Jake McGee took over and promptly gave up a grand slam to Cody Bellinger, putting the contest out of reach, though rookie Sam Hilliard was a triple shy of the cycle with three RBIs. Garrett Hampson also homered.

The Rockies finished the season series with their National League West rivals at 4-15, going 1-8 at Dodger Stadium. It is the first time that Colorado won just one game at Dodger Stadium in a season since 2000, when it played six games there. Over the past two seasons, the Rockies have gone 4-15 in Los Angeles.

“We’re in a lot of games they’ve won late,” said Black. “Every year’s different. This year, it seemed as though there was a lot of games that hung in the balance late, and without dissecting every single game, off the top of my head, I would think that their bullpen outpitched our bullpen late in most of the games this year against the Dodgers.”

Black is correct that the Dodgers’ bullpen had the edge over the Rockies in 2019. Colorado relievers had a 7.17 ERA vs. Los Angeles, while Dodgers relievers had a 3.22 ERA vs. the Rockies. It’s been especially pronounced at Dodger Stadium, where Colorado fell victim to three walk-off losses.

For the last-place Rockies, 2019 has been disappointing overall, following two straight seasons of making the playoffs. Their performance against the Dodgers is one of many problems they’ll have to deal with if they want ‘20 to be any better. Given how frequently the teams meet, it should be considered a priority.

Sarah Wexler is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @SarahWexler32.