Rockies turn to Senzatela for Game 1 start

October 3rd, 2018

MILWAUKEE -- The Rockies tabbed right-hander as their starter for Thursday's Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Brewers at Miller Park.

Senzatela posted a 6-6 record with a 4.38 ERA in 23 appearances (13 starts) in 2018. He began the season in the bullpen, but he has been more effective as a starter (4-5, 3.95 ERA). In five September starts, Senzatela went 2-1 with a 3.25 ERA; more importantly, the Rockies were 4-1 in those outings.

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Senzatela's strong finish came at a time when lefty and righty were establishing themselves as rotation leaders. All three were rookies last season.

"I definitely learned a lot," Senzatela said. "We pushed each other as teammates, but the best thing that I can get out of their performances is just the way they compete. They're just relentless competitors. That's what I'm striving for.

Senzatela, 23, made his Major League debut against the Brewers on April 6, 2017, and pitched five scoreless innings, striking out six against two hits and three walks. It was the beginning of an April that saw him earn NL Rookie of the Month honors by going 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA in five starts.

Rockies manager Bud Black also said he was "leaning" toward lefty (7-9, 4.55 ERA) for Friday's Game 2, which figures to set up Freeland and Marquez for Sunday and Monday, respectively, in Denver.