Inconsistent Giants attempt to solve Rockies’ Senzatela
SAN FRANCISCO — If the San Francisco Giants are going to continue a pattern of alternating wins and losses on their week-long homestand Sunday, they’re going to have to do something no other team has done.
Solve Colorado Rockies rookie right-hander Antonio Senzatela.
The unbeaten 22-year-old will be seeking his second straight win and third impressive start in a row when he attempts to give the Rockies a second consecutive win in the series finale.
Colorado has ridden strong pitching performances to win two of the first three in the series, allowing just one run in those games.
In between, the Giants broke out offensively for an 8-2 victory.
Senzatela (1-0) has allowed just two runs in his first two starts. He got a win by holding the San Diego Padres to two runs on Monday night, after having had nothing to show for five shutout innings in his major-league debut at Milwaukee.
The Venezuelan had done nothing in spring training to indicate such a brilliant start to his major-league career was coming. He went winless in the spring (0-4) with a 4.61 ERA, but earned the rotation spot nonetheless.
Senzatela has struck out 11 batters in his 12 innings, which has caught the attention of his Rockies teammates, including catcher Tony Wolters.
“His fastball is lightning,” Wolters insisted to reporters after the win over San Diego. “If we execute our pitches, we’re going to be good.”
Such was definitely the case with Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood on Saturday. He retired the first 17 Giants he faced until allowing a single to left-fielder Chris Marrero in the sixth inning.
Chatwood was able to complete the shutout, the first of his career, with a two-hitter.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy walked away shaking his head over Chatwood’s performance.
“That was the best stuff we’ve seen this season,” Bochy gushed after the game. “Pitching at 95, 96, 97 (mph) is (Madison) Bumgarner. His pitches had a lot of life to them. This was really good stuff we saw.”
The Giants not only have alternated wins and losses (three of each) on their homestand, they’ve also alternated good and bad hitting efforts.
They scored four, six and eight runs in the three wins, but were held to a total of four runs in the three defeats.
One guy who has aided the offensive cause of late has been Marrero, who smacked the first home run of his career in Friday’s 8-2 win.
The first-year Giant has been platooning with left-handed-hitting Jarrett Parker in left field. In fact, he wasn’t even in the starting lineup Saturday when he turned out to be the one who spoiled Chatwood’s bid for a perfect game in the sixth inning.
But with Parker having broken his right clavicle in a collision with the fence on Saturday, the position could now be Marrero’s more time than not.
Bochy said the Giants would make a roster move before Sunday’s game, presumably to add an outfielder. But his best options at Triple-A Sacramento all are injured (Michael Morse and Mac Williamson) or are right-handed hitters (Justin Ruggiano, Drew Stubbs and Melvin Upton, Jr.).
Marrero’s hit Saturday raised his batting average to .174.