Thursday Rockpile: Ubaldo Jimenez's pitches bend universe, warp us back to dead-ball era

Troy Renck found out from the Elias Sports Bureau that Ubaldo Jimenez's hot start has been unheralded since fellow Dominican Juan Marichal got out of the gate this well in 1966. In the same article, Jimenez's hits allowed per inning pitched are compared to the heyday seasons of Sandy Koufax. Ken Rosenthal tweets that Jimenez recalls Bob Gibson's 1968 season.

Rosenthal's only referring to the ERA, of course, as Gibson was 3-5 after his tenth start to that season and a start or two away from reeling off a stretch of eleven straight starts where he would allow one run or less, including eight shutouts. As Elias pointed out to Renck, Marichal's 1966, a year that the future HOF'er would finish with a 25-6 record, is probably a bit more comparable at this point, although Marichal's tenth start to that season was a 14 inning shutout that probably screwed his arm up for the next month, so maybe it's not that comparable after all.

So come back to 2010 and let's just marvel at Jimenez for a moment. The man seemingly can only be compared to pre-PED pitchers that threw off a far more advantageous 15 inches high pitching mound (for those new to baseball history it was lowered to 10 inches in 1969), He pitches half his games in the most hitter friendly park in MLB history.The sharp contact BABIP luck that Jimenez enjoyed last night (with a big hat tip to Carlos Gonzalez) should probably be taken as a harbinger that this degree of dominance won't last all season, but there's no denying that there's something special about this man this season, it's a shame only 26,320 fans in Denver went out to see it in action last night. Seriously, Rockies fans, do not pass the opportunity to watch Jimenez starts in person this year. Go out of your way if necessary. You'll be glad you did.

Meanwhile, the pitcher who can not losedid. Thanks for jinxing the Freak, Jeff Passan. The Rockies are now in third place in the NL West, looking up at the Dodgers and Padres. We're now creeping up to a third of the way into the season, so are the Padres for real? Not according to noted Friarologist Geoff Young:

In a nutshell, the Padres have gotten where they are by pitching way over their heads. On the mound, everyone except Correia and Adams has pitched better than expected. Several have been better by a lot. Padres fans should enjoy the 125 ERA+ but not get used to it.

I'll maintain that the Rockies real deficit within the division is just the two games that separates us from Los Angeles, a deficit which will hopefully be gone by Sunday evening.

Rosenthal earlier tweeted that the Rockies may be considering temporarily demoting Dexter Fowler to AAA in a move similar to the one they made with Chris Iannetta. With outfield depth, that move makes some sense if it's going to help Fowler work out his left handed swing issues, but it would mean that Ryan Spilborghs would need to quickly improve on his .130 batting average against left handed pitching or leave the Rockies once again particularly vulnerable against the southpaw persuasion. 

Two more Denver Post links:

Olivo man of steal

Corpas four seamer might not remain alien to Rockies

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