When the Colorado Rockies joined the National League in 1993 they had record-setting attendance and the NL batting champ in Andres Galarraga.
What they didn’t have was a win against the Atlanta Braves. In fact, during Colorado’s inaugural season, Atlanta won all 13 games between the teams and then the first three games in 1994. The Braves won 25 of their first 28 games against the Rockies.
Things have evened out since, and Colorado went 24-10 against Atlanta from 2015-19. On Thursday night, in the first game in two years between the clubs, the Braves got a much-needed 6-5 win at Denver to stop a three-game skid.
Thanks to Adam Duvall’s two-run, go-ahead homer in the fifth inning, Atlanta (71-62) maintained its two-game lead in the NL East over the second-place Philadelphia Phillies.
The Braves will go for their second straight against the Rockies on Friday. Huascar Ynoa (4-4, 2.90 ERA) will get the start for Atlanta against Antonio Senzatela (3-9, 4.18) in a battle of righties.
Ynoa will face the Rockies (61-73) for the first time while Senzatela will make his third start and fourth career appearance against the Braves. He is 1-0 with a 3.55 ERA in those games.
Ynoa is making his fourth start since returning to the rotation on Aug. 17 after missing two months with a fractured right hand. He went 0-2 in the three recent outings but pitched relatively well, posting a 2.60 ERA. Atlanta’s offense has scored just three runs total in his August starts.
He hasn’t been discouraged with the lack of run support.
“I’m thankful that everything’s kind of been going well, and you know, obviously, I’m just trying to give my best effort and do what I can to help the team win,” Ynoa said through a translator after his last start. “Hopefully, it keeps going.”
Senzatela would like to repeat his latest start, which earned him his first win in nearly three months. He tossed seven scoreless innings against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Sunday, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out five.
It was an unlikely performance for Senzatela. In 12 previous career appearances against the Dodgers, he had a 7.08 ERA, but he retired the first 12 batters Sunday and won for the first time since June 2.
“This was probably my best career game,” Senzatela said after Colorado’s 5-0 victory. “I just tried to go out there and do the best I can. I got a good game, we got a win. I think this is one of the best games of my life.”
Senzatela missed a few weeks after the All-Star break when he tested positive for COVID-19, and he struggled in his first start back. In the four starts since then, he has been strong, going six innings twice and seven on the other two occasions.
After allowing four runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 5, Senzatela has given up just six over the last 26 innings (2.08 ERA) while striking out 16 and walking five.
–Field Level Media