Ubaldo hits rocky patch in Colorado
Denver – Ubaldo has taken a U-turn.
Colorado ace Ubaldo Jimenez is off to the best start in this “Year of the Pitcher,” with a 14-1 record and a 2.27 ERA. He’s the odds-on favorite to get the ball for the NL in the All-Star game, and with one more start this week, he could become the first pitcher in a decade to win 15 games by the break.
His nasty repertoire includes a ridiculous six different pitches – and variations of each – that he regularly throws for strikes on any given count, and some hitters swear they’ve never seen a fastball dip and dive like his is doing this year. He even threw a no-hitter against Atlanta in April.
But Jimenez has allowed 17 runs and 19 hits over his last 172/3 innings for an astonishing 8.66 ERA over his last three starts.
“We like to talk about this under the assumption that this guy is just a machine,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “But he’s not. He’s human.”
Before this bad stretch, Jimenez’s ERA was a minuscule 1.16, in striking distance of Bob Gibson’s modern day record of 1.12 set in 1968, the original “Year of the Pitcher,” when Denny McClain won 31 times and hitters were so overmatched that the mound was lowered the next year from 15 inches to 10 to even the playing field.
All it takes is one bad inning to ruin things, and the Giants got him for seven runs in the third inning of his last start.
“I saw a bad third inning and then I saw five others where they didn’t come close to running a run across the plate,” Tracy said.
The Associated Press