Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rock Solid Recap: A breath of fresh air

The Colorado Rockies are 1-0 in June.

So is Ubaldo Jimenez.

Of course I don't really believe a simple change on the calendar makes a baseball team better. And it's only one little game out of 162, but damn does this feel good for those 25 players in uniform, the coaches, and the fans. It really was a breath of fresh air after five weeks of inhaling polluted air and horse****.

Rockies 3, Dodgers 0 (boxscore)

What can you say about Ubaldo Jimenez? He had everything working from pitch 1 to pitch 106. Which by the way is a really, really efficient number for a complete game shutout. That's what happens for you when you walk ZERO.

No walks!

If I had to make a report card.

Velocity: 93-96ish. B+. (Grading on an Ubaldo curve)

Command: A+

Mechanics: A

Movement: A

Efficiency: A+

Results: A+++

As I tweeted afterwards, I was more nervous in this 9th inning than I was in his no-hitter. Seriously. That performance last season was special. Maybe once in a career for him. Maybe once in a lifetime for Rockies fans. Trust me, I was nervous then. But for all the problems Ubaldo has gone through this season, I wanted this one for him even more.

He needed this badly. I wanted this for him, because I know he needed it that bad and I know his teammates and other fans wanted it that bad for him. Several fist pumps in the air when he set Matt Kemp down with this 7th and final strikeout.

But like I said at the top, it's one game. Where he goes from here who knows, but it's nice to finally have some genuine optimism and positive energy heading to his next start in San Diego.

Tip your cap to Bob Apodaca as well. He's stuck by Ubaldo the whole way through and very likely played a role in tonight's performance.

-- Baby steps forward for the offense in the early going. More of the same later. But overall if was nice to see them move runners 90 feet, and especially nice to see them cash in two runners from third with sacrifice flies. The offense may not be the juggernaut we figured it could be, but they can still be effective if they produce (hits or productive outs) in those situations.

-- Todd Helton: Still the man. (Watch his home run)

-- I think Ty Wigginton is still catching his breath after that triple. But hey, impressive gear change heading from second to third. That hit and hustle set a nice tone for the evening.

-- Jose Morales: Solid all around game. Sac fly, basehit, called a great game. Who knows, he might find himself catching more Ubaldo starts going forward. They had a nice chemistry working.

-- Bullpen: Enjoy your two days off. See you again on Friday.

-- Be looking for my second player rankings of the season sometime Thursday afternoon. It will cover May, but I might have to bump Ubaldo up a spot or two.

-- Rockies needed a win Wednesday and got it. Now they need a series win just as badly. No better place to find it and take it than San Francisco! Let's see what we have on Friday night.


David Martin said...

Good recap as always...The relief on the face of not only Ubaldo Jimenez, but also many of his teammates was very obvious after the game. Maybe that is what the Rockies needed to get going. We will see.

Not to be negative, but the velocity is obviously still down...I wanted to hear your thoughts on what you think the reason for the five MPH difference we are seeing in Jimenez.

Mark Townsend said...

I wish I had a good answer on the velocity issue. Maybe he started to feel a tweak and has backed off a little bit. Maybe there's something really going on in there. Tired arm. Who could blame him for that with the workload he took on at times last season. Only 2 or 3 people probably know all the real answers.

I was encouraged by the movement on this fastball last time out though. Maybe that's a good step towards getting his velo all the way back. And even if it's not, and he really is healthy, he could definitely be successful as he was Wednesday.