That's how good Ubaldo Jimenez was in the Rockies second straight win over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night.
Rockies 2, Nationals 1 (boxscore)
Especially the way it started with U retiring the first 12 Nationals in perfect order. Three of those outs came via the strikeout. Seven came on harmless groundballs. When Ubaldo ran into a little trouble in the 5th, he got another groundball, and a fine double play started by the returning Troy Tulowitzki and turned over beautifully by Mark Ellis.
The only thing that kept Jimenez from challenging for a possible shutout was the boneheaded play in center field by Ryan Spilborghs. Spilly's decision to half dive, half fall down turned an Ian Desmond single into a triple leading off the sixth. The Rockies would trade Desmond's run for an out.
From there, Jimenez finished up strongly.
His line: 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
The one walk certainly stands out as a positive. He had great movement again, but he was doing a better job commanding the zone and avoiding hitter's courts. It should also be noted that Jimenez was touching 97 on the gun as late as the seventh. All those concerned about velocity should feel good about that.
1. Todd Helton: He just doesn't stop. The Toddfather was responsible for both Rockies runs. He homered leading off the 4th. He then drove in Mark Ellis with a groundout in the 5th.
2. Troy Tulowitzki returns: Good return for Tulo. He looked to be at or close to 100% out there, which was good to see.
3. Jim Tracy wins his 200th game as Rockies manager: His overall record since taking in May of 2009 is 200-168. Think about that. Despite the overwhelming underachievement of this team the past two seasons, he's still 32 games over .500. That says A LOT about how amazing those final four months in 2009 were.
A Rockies sweep... on the road no less? I'll believe that when I see it.