In life, turning 18 signifies the transition from childhood to adulthood.
In the case of Ubaldo Jimenez, winning 18 signifies the transition from being A man to being THE man among men in Colorado Rockies baseball history. He now stands alone as the single season franchise leader in wins, and stands a good chance of extending that record to 20.
Congratulations to Ubaldo on his fantastic accomplishment, on his record-breaking season, on his incredible poise and maturity, and above all, on just being a quality person. They just don't make athletes this special with such unassuming attitudes anymore, so we really must treasure his rare mix of talent and modesty.
-- Ubaldo wasn't at his absolute best today, but he still pitched like an ace in my opinion. When aces don't have their best stuff, they find ways to survive, give their team innings, and give their team a chance to win. Ubaldo accomplished all three.
For that type of effort to be rewarded with his record-breaking 18th victory... to me, there's no better way to write the script. It's the type of outing that highlights how much he has grown as a pitcher. That's what it's all about.
Feel safe to assume he's right back in the Cy Young race.
-- Of course Ubaldo needed a little help to notch that big win. Help came in the form of Troy Tulowitzki. Troy has shortened his swing recently to compensate for lingering pain in his wrist. The results of that shortened swing? Pretty damn good.
Troy showed immense power hitting two bombs to straight away center over the weekend in San Diego. He followed that up with a game-typing triple (highlight) and go ahead home run (highlight) this afternoon.
Hold on to that swing! And maybe teach Ian Stewart how to use it as well.
Just a suggestion.
-- Carlos Gonzalez with three more hits today. Two doubles (highlight). Two RBI. What else is new?
-- Table setters Eric Young and Dexter Fowler each recorded two base hits. Each singled off of phenom Aroldis Chapman with two outs in the 6th inning, providing the insurance runs needed for the victory. Those two at-bats simply can't be overlooked (highlight & highlight).
-- The bullpen (Esmil Rogers, Matt Reynolds annnnnd Franklin Morales... yes, that Franklin Morales) allowed one run on two hits over the final three innings. Solid.
-- I have to say this about Jim Tracy. Once that calendar turns to September and he has options to work with, he seems to manage a better, more relaxed game. What gets him into trouble is overmanaging a game in May and June like it's September. That tends to wear his bullpen down quicker.
Jhoulys Chacin vs Johnny Cueto
Can't stop now. Must. Keep. Winning.