The 2010 season was ultimately a disappointing season for the Colorado Rockies, hitting a ridiculous losing streak at the end of the season to sink any chance of taking the NL West from the San Francisco Giants. But 2010 was a bigger deal for the Rockies for 38 reasons:
Heading up through the All Star Break, Ubaldo was drawing comparisons to Juan Marichal, Bob Gibson, and Pedro Martinez. After his 3rd start of the season (in which he no-hit the Braves), Ubaldo's ERA sat at a healthy 1.29, and didn't return above the 2.00 mark until after June 3rd. The season-low ERA for Ubaldo came on Memorial Day, when he threw a 4-hit, 9K, 2BB shutout of the San Francisco giants. That low point sat at 0.78. People were wondering when Jimenez would come back to earth - or IF he would come back to earth.
In a bigger sense though, Ubaldo's 2010 mastery put the Colorado Rockies on the map for something other than gimmicky offensive numbers and absurd late-season runs to the postseason.
Colorado had an Ace, and Rockies pitching was no longer a joke.
This newfound ability to pitch as well as hit certainly didn't go unnoticed by NL Manager Charlie Manuel, as Jimenez was named the starter for the 2010 All Star Game, over fellow Aces Josh Johnson, Roy Halladay, and Adam Wainwright. High praise indeed.
As noted in yesterday's Know Your Foe, the game was a pretty great one for the NL, as they, you know, won. Jimenez was a bit shaky in his 2 innings of work, allowing 2 hits, a walk, and a strikeout.
The Rockies have had pitchers selected to the All Star Game before. Mike Hampton was the first, and we also saw Shawn Chacon, Brian Fuentes, Aaron Cook, and Jason Marquis selected at different points, to varying degrees of success.
But Ubaldo Jimenez being named the starter was something entirely different. That recognition was more than just excitement over a half season, it was more than being named to an exhibition game. Ubaldo Jimenez being named the NL Starter for the All Star Game said, just for a moment, that Ubaldo Jimenez was the cream of the NL crop, that a pitcher for the Colorado Rockies was the best in the National League.