After his rise as a touted prospect in the Rockies' system -- one who pitched well enough this spring to make the rotation, despite having just seven Double-A starts last season -- his performance in the Rockies' 2-1 victory over the Brewers offered examples of why the team always thought he would be one.
Not one given to showing emotion, Senzatela understandably fist-pumped after inducing the double play on a 96.8 mph fastball.
"I tell pitchers all the time there are going to be stress points during the game, even in good games … a point in that game where there are runners on, less than a couple outs, and you've got to work out of it," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "Today, for him, it was in the first inning -- which is not ideal, in your Major League debut.
"But he made a pitch to Santana to get the double play, which is great. DJ LeMahieu and Trevor Story turned it magnificently. I think that let him exhale."
After the one-out hits in the first -- an Eric Thames single and Jesus Aguilar double that found grass -- Senzatela dealt with just three baserunners. One was Travis Shaw on a walk before the double play. He mixed fastballs of varying speeds -- anywhere from the 91-92 range to near 97 -- with sliders and changeups that produced fly balls and otherwise weak contact.
"He's super-calm," said third baseman Nolan Arenado, whose ninth-inning home run won the game. "It looked like he's been out there a couple times already. He laid a couple great bunts, he competed."
It took all of Senzatela's composure to overcome hitting Broxton with a 2-2 pitch that simply slipped. It seemed to tick off the cheek/jaw extension -- known as a "C-flap" on Broxton's batting helmet.
"I felt bad when I hit him in the face," Senzatela said. "I said, 'Bad pitch. I don't want that.' But it's the game. It's hard but I just said I need to finish my game here, then see.
"I already talked to him. He told me he's OK. He's fine."
Broxton was diagnosed with a slight nasal fracture and took stitches, but officially is listed as day to day and not ticketed for the disabled list. Thank you, C-flap.
"The crazy thing about it is I was thinking about taking it off a couple days ago, too, and then this happens," Broxton said.
Through it all, Senzatela stayed cool.
"I throw like that -- quiet, no big emotions," Senzatela said.