Baseball has always celebrated the no-hitter, and this season the celebrations have come frequently. There have been six thrown already in 2021, the last two coming on consecutive nights this week.
There was another one thrown this year, but it doesn’t count in the record books because it was done in seven innings. Still, that doesn’t take away from what Arizona Diamondbacks lefty Madison Bumgarner accomplished in the second game of a doubleheader on April 25.
Bumgarner might need to throw a nine-inning no-hitter on Saturday afternoon against the Colorado Rockies in Denver if Arizona is going to break out of its slump.
The Diamondbacks have lost six in a row overall and 11 straight on the road after dropping the series opener at Colorado 7-1 on Friday night.
Bumgarner (4-3, 4.15 ERA) will face Rockies right-hander Antonio Senzatela (1-4, 5.18) on Saturday. Colorado snapped a five-game skid with the Friday victory.
The Rockies are very familiar with Bumgarner from his days with the San Francisco Giants and now Arizona. He has made more starts against Colorado — 38 — than against any other team and is 18-9 with a 3.29 ERA. More than half of those outings came at Coors Field, and he has been a little more vulnerable there. In 18 starts in Denver, he is 6-7 with a 4.77 ERA.
The Diamondbacks have tried to not let their slump get them down.
“We were a hit or two away in the eighth inning from making this a very close ball game,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said after the Friday setback. “We’ll build off that for (Saturday). We’ve got to. That’s all we can do.”
The Rockies know very well how a slump can wear on a team. They are 2-17 on the road but have found solace at home, where they are now 14-12. They could have a better home mark if not for a couple of blown leads. The last one came in Senzatela’s latest start, Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds.
Colorado led 6-1 after seven innings, and the bullpen let it slip away in the final two frames. The collapse cost Senzatela a much-needed win after he allowed just a run on four hits in seven innings.
He had his best start of the season against Arizona on April 7 when he pitched eight scoreless innings in an 8-0 win. Overall against the Diamondbacks, Senzatela is 3-6 with a 5.45 ERA in 11 career starts, including 1-2 with a 5.81 ERA in five career starts against the Diamondbacks at Coors Field.
The Rockies got a little healthier with the season debut of infielder Brendan Rodgers, who was out due to a right hamstring strain he sustained during spring training. Colorado hopes the 2015 first-round pick can get his career on track after a tough start.
He was 0-for-4 Friday night with two strikeouts.
“The offensive upside is what we’re excited about, based on his skill level as a hitter,” manager Bud Black said. “His swing plays in the big leagues. It’s short, but it has power and it can generate extra-base hits or home runs.”
–Field Level Media