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The Colorado Rockies pitched well, hit well, and played good defense but in Spring Training the likelihood that none of that will amount to anything is a lot higher with so many players cycling into and out of the game.
So, despite thoroughly outplaying the Texas Rangers for the vast majority of the afternoon, they dropped a 7-4 loss thanks to a terrible sixth inning.
Turning Point: Rude Return for Daniel Bard
Daniel Bard made his first appearance of the Spring in hopes of making a pretty amazing comeback to baseball after having not pitched in MLB since 2013. It did not go well for the 34-year-old who gave up six runs on four hits, including a two-run shot to Rougned Odor. He recorded just one out and walked a pair. His time on the mound saw the Rockies go from a 4-0 lead to a 6-4 deficit.
Player of the Game: Antonio Senzatela
Senzatela showed up to Spring Training looking like a brand new man. He is in much better shape than he ever has been before and his breaking pitches are moving and locating much better than they ever have before.
He pitched the first two frames in this one, starting with a breezy first featuring a punchout of Odor. The Rangers managed a pair of one-out seeing-eye singles against him in the second but Senza got a perfect grounder to short for a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play. He lowered his Spring ERA to 1.80 in five innings.
Raimel Tapia went 2-for-4 with his first home run of the Spring. That homer also happened to lead off the game and get out to the opposite field, showcasing his continued efforts to add power to his game. He’s hitting .333 and so far has the inside edge on the starting left field job over Ian Desmond and Sam Hilliard.
- Jeff Hoffman had a solid two-inning outing. He allowed two baserunners in his first inning of work but induced two groundballs (either of which could have been turned into doubles plays) and a relatively weak flyout to escape any damage. He produced a quick 1-2-3 frame for his second inning of work. His spring ERA now sits at 6.35.
- Senzatela spoke of his improved weigh and strength, commenting “I’m staying away from the candies”.
- Chris Owings went 3-for-3 with an RBI to raise his Spring batting average to .364
- Elias Diaz hit the ball hard (but on the ground) in all three at-bats. One of them got through for a single. That gives him seven hits this Spring, one behind Josh Fuentes and Yonathan Daza for second most on the team. He’s hitting .583 and has not yet struck out.
- Speaking of Daza, he ripped an RBI double in the second to improve his Spring average to .364.
- During the messy sixth, Yadiel Rivera stole second and the throw from catcher Drew Butera took a tough hop and caught shortstop Eric Samets in the face. He came out of the game immediately. Updates will come as info rolls in.
- Jake McGee pitched a clean inning with a strikeout to lower his ERA to 9.00
- Yency Almonte gave up a home run that spiked his ERA to 24.30 but he recovered and struck out a pair, managing to finish the inning with no other offense.
We’ve got a long way to go but good versions of Senzatela and Hoffman change everything for this team.
The Colorado Rockies will split the squad and play two on Thursday. They will take on the Kansas City Royals at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch Stadium. Start times at 1:10 and 1:05 respectively.