Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rock Solid Recap: Ubaldo Works Two Scoreless in ASG

No sense understating how exciting (and satisfying) this moment was for me as a lifelong (theirs, not mine) Colorado Rockies fan. Just hearing Ubaldo Jimenez's named being announced as the National League starting pitcher tonight gave me goosebumps.

For so many years it was impossible to imagine a Rockies pitcher even making the all-star team. Once that "curse" was broken it was still impossible to imagine a Rockies pitcher garnering enough attention and respect to receive the honor of starting a mid-summer classic.

One night changed all that.

On April 17th, in Atlanta, Georgia, the impossible gave way to the undeniable.

The Colorado Rockies were going to have the starting pitcher in the all-star game  His name was Ubaldo Jimenez.

From that day on, Jimenez earned every bit of the attention and respect it takes.  The accolades are oh so richly deserved.

Oh, and his performance in the actual game didn't disappoint one single bit either.


I believe Ubaldo became the first player ever introduced to bring his glove on to the field with him. Nothing wrong with that! He was ready to rock and fire. Only problem was Fox made him sit around 45 minutes before he could take the mound.

It was also quite weird seeing him in the grey top with sleeves and the grey shoes. Pretty sure that trend won't continue into his next start in Florida.

1st Inning

Ubaldo had a few jitters it appeared. Who could blame him? Ichiro. Derek Jeter. Couple Hall of Famers right off the bat.

After unintenionally buzzing Jeter (with a 96 mph fastball) and then walking him (another all-star rarity), Miguel Cabrera blooped a single in to short right to set up a first and third.

Jimenez, as he has so many times in 2010, then made his pitch to the powerful Josh Hamilton, inducing a perfect 1-6-3 DP ball.

Vintage Jimenez.

2nd Inning

He made Vladimir Guerrero look absolutely silly with a couple fastballs and then the splitter. Vlad had no chance.

Ubaldo then fell behind 3-0 to Evan Longoria and made his only mistake of the evening -- a fastball on the inner half. Longo turned on it and ripped a double into deep left.

No problem for U. He quickly and quietly set down a 3-time AL batting champion, Joe Mauer, and the current AL batting leader, Robinson Cano, to end his evening with a 0.00 career ERA in all-star appearances.

National League 3, American League 1

And look at that would ya? The NL wins for the first time since 1996 (aka my sophomore year of high school.)

Hats all off to all the boys -- especially Brian McCann and even Charlie Manuel -- on getting the job done.

I was already pumped for the second half .  Now the intensity increases by two or three notches because these NL teams know this opportunity to host a World Series could be a rare one.  This is going to be a lot of fun.