Rockies turn to Senzatela to tame Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Chase Anderson probably doesn't have a clear recollection of the start he made against the visiting Colorado Rockies on April 6, 2017.
Antonio Senzatela surely does.
Senzatela threw five shutout innings in his major league debut that night, and the 24-year-old right-hander will face off against Anderson for a second time when the Brewers host the Rockies in the third game of their-four game series on Wednesday night.
The Brewers won the first two, and 5-1 on Monday, then 4-3 on Tuesday, when Colorado scored three in the ninth inning but fell a short.
"They're making pitches, and we just can't seem to break through against them," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "They're disrupting our timing with their assortment of off-speed pitches, and we're getting guys on base early in the game, but we can't seem to get the big hit."
Senzatela (2-1, 3.93 ERA) has made three starts this season after missing the first 2 1/2 weeks with an infected blister on his right heel. He's coming off a win over the Braves in Atlanta on April 26, when he allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Anderson became familiar with the Rockies while playing in the NL West with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014-15, facing them nine times in that span.
He has seen the Rockies much less since joining the Brewers in 2016.
In the 2017 matchup against Senzatela, Anderson held the Rockies to one run and three hits in six innings, but he was slightly out-pitched by Senzatela in Colorado's 2-1 win.
Senzatela also started Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the Brewers in October and gave up two runs and three hits in five innings, but Milwaukee eventually won 3-2 in 10 innings and went on to sweep the Rockies in the best-of-five series.
Milwaukee right fielder Christian Yelich, who has missed the past two games with back soreness, hit a two-run homer in the third inning of the playoff game for the only runs off Senzatela.
Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar went 0-for-3 off Senzatela in Game 1, but he owns a hot bat lately, hitting three home runs in the past two games, his only home runs of the season after hitting 35 in 2018.
"The big deal is that he's got two three-run homers," said Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell. "You hit three-run homers and that's going to give you a pretty good chance to win games."
Aguilar hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning off an 0-2 fastball to give the Brewers a 4-0 lead on Tuesday. He hit a three-run homer in the first inning and a solo shot in the third on Monday, which also made the difference in the 5-1 win.
Counsell continues to be in awe of Aguilar's power, particularly to the opposite field.
"There's a strong man that can go there," Counsell said.
Anderson (2-0, 3.20 ERA) has been asked to transition back into a starting role after moving to the bullpen for the first time in his career at the start of this season.
Anderson, who started 133 games over the previous five seasons, was needed in the rotation after right-hander Corbin Burnes gave up 11 home runs in his first four starts and was demoted to Triple-A.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 1, 2019