Colorado probably hasn’t been the site of the day’s best pitching matchup since Ubaldo Jimenez was an All-Star but my favorite starting pitching duel will be at Coors Field tomorrow. The four-game series between the Rockies and Dodgers wraps up on Sunday afternoon.
The two guys facing each other have combined to make just over 20 career starts and haven’t even thrown 150 Big League innings but both know their ass from their head.
Antonio Senzatela is the greener of the two, a true rookie who has thrown all 44 of his innings between April 6 and now. He’s been a revelation for the Rockies so far, throwing either six or seven innings in his last six starts and pitching his team to six wins in seven starts.
Senzatela’s consistency has been his hallmark. I mentioned the innings but he’s thrown 90-something pitches in all seven starts. He also hasn’t allowed more than seven hits in any one start and gave up four runs just once. Otherwise, it’s been a three, three two’s, a one and and zero in his other six outings. Opponents are hitting .228 and the WHIP stands at 1.07.
The Dodgers kept Julio Urias in the minor leagues for the major part of April before recalling him for his debut on the 27th. He didn’t get a win in that start but pitches the Dodgers to a win over San Francisco, 5-1. He struggled with his control in that one and the next one, walking four in each game, but he only gave up four hits in each, too and only let one of the 16 baserunners score.
He looked even more dominant his last time out against a Pirates’ lineup that has made more than just he look dominant. Urias took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and got one out before he was lifted after giving up a hit and a run. Most importantly, he cut his walks in half and allowed just free passes.
The numbers through three starts are gnarly: a 1.06 ERA, .164 opponent’s batting average and a WHIP of just 1.12. Most imagined Urias putting up big strikeout numbers with those three plus pitches he’s got but the kid who will turn 21 in August has only 10 in three starts.
So while Arrieta faces Wainwright and Tanaka, Verlander and Quintana all take the mound, the most intriguing one-on-one matchup is Senzatela against Urias, a rookie from Venezuela against a 20-year-old from Mexico, pitching for the two best teams in the same division. What’s not to like?
Free Pick: Under 11.0 (-105)