The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

This was the kind of per­for­mance the Rock­ies have been look­ing for from rookie righthander Jeff Hoff­man.

De­spite the Rock­ies’ 3-2, ninthin­ning loss to Philadel­phia on Sun­day, Hoff­man de­liv­ered qual­ity. He pitched seven in­nings, al­lowed one run on four hits, struck out eight and walked only one.

“It kind of (stinks) that the game turned out the way it did, but I felt like I com­manded all four pitches pretty well,” Hoff­man said.

Man­ager Bud Black said he thought Hoff­man got stronger as the game went on. Hoff­man agreed.

“I felt like my com­mand got bet­ter, and I thought my fast­ball ve­loc­ity got bet­ter,” Hoff­man said. “That’s al­ways good when you get to the third or fourth time through (the bat­ting order). You have, in a sense, new stuff to show those guys.”

Hoff­man (6-3, 5.03 ERA) said his curve­ball had not been as ef­fec­tive since May 22 at Phila- del­phia when he pitched seven in­nings, al­lowed one run on three hits and whiffed seven.

Sen­za­tela start­ing.

Rookie right-han­der An­to­nio Sen­za­tela is back in the ro­ta­tion and vet­eran right-han­der Tyler Chat­wood has been sent to the bullpen. Sen­za­tela is sched­uled to start Wed­nes­day at Cleve­land, tak­ing the spot of rookie left­hander Kyle Free­land, who is on the dis­abled list with a strained left groin.

“We knew that it was going to be ‘Chatty’ or An­to­nio,” Black said, though he de­clined to elab­o­rate as to why he picked Sen­za­tela over Chat­wood. “I can’t share with you what made our fi­nal de­ci­sion, but we feel good about An­to­nio start­ing the game. And we feel good about ‘Chatty’ start­ing a game. … We are going to use all of our guys.”

Chat­wood in­sists he’s throw­ing the ball well, but the raw num­bers tell a dif­fer­ent story. He’s 6-12 with a 5.11 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. He started Wed­nes­day’s game against the New York Mets and pitched well for three per­fect in­nings, but the fi­nal re­sults were ugly. He got rung up for eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits, in­clud­ing two home runs as the Rock­ies blew a 5-0 lead and lost 10-5.

Chat­wood’s pat­tern of not be­ing able to stay in com­mand for a full out­ing has plagued him for much of the sea­son.

Sen­za­tela (10-4, 4.78 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) was moved out of the ro­ta­tion as he worked on his fast­ball com­mand and tried to hone his slider. He pitched the fi­nal three in­nings of Wed­nes­day’s game and looked sharp, al­low­ing no runs and one hit while strik­ing out four. Sen­za­tela also worked out of the bullpen Fri­day night in the Rock­ies’ 4-3 win over the Phillies. He was not nearly as ef­fec­tive, yield­ing two runs on three hits over two in­nings.

Chat­wood still con­sid­ers him­self a starter, and he be­lieves the calf in­jury that landed him on the dis­abled list last month af­fected his per­for­mance, but he said he would do what­ever the teams asks.

“I want to start,” Chat­wood said. “I will do what­ever the team asks, but if you look at my ca­reer num­bers and I’m pretty good as a starter. We are in a play­off run, so if they want me to help out in the bullpen, I will help out in the bullpen.”

Chat­wood owns a ca­reer record of 38-43 with a 4.36 ERA.

Free­land up­date.

Free­land, who strained his left groin in the first in­ning of his start Fri­day, threw long toss from 75-80 feet Sun­day and did it without pain, ac­cord­ing to head trainer Keith Dug­ger.

There is no timetable for Free­land’s re­turn. He went on the 10-day dis­abled list Satur­day, but tests re­vealed no ma­jor dam­age. Black is more op­ti­mistic now than he was when Free­land was in­jured Fri­day night.

“When he was in the du­gout and he sat down … he re­ally stiff­ened up,” Black said. “And the walk from where he was sit­ting, and then down the stairs, was not good. I was like, ‘Oh, no!’ But as the night went on and then yes­ter­day, he felt OK. But we’ll see.”


Left-han­der Jake McGee, on the DL be­cause of mid­back spasms, re­turned to the ac­tive ros­ter Sun­day, and the club op­tioned Shane Carle to Triple-A Al­bu­querque. McGee’s re­turn sig­nif­i­cantly bol­sters the back of Colorado’s bullpen. McGee, who turned 31 on Sun­day, is 0-1 with a 3.27 ERA. … Short­stop Bren­dan Rodgers, the Rock­ies’ top prospect, was re­moved from his game for Dou­ble-A Hart­ford on Sun­day be­cause of a tight quadri­ceps.

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