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Tuesday Rockpile: Ubaldo Keeps RacKing up the Accolades

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I was driving up Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park yesterday, well over two miles above sea level, so I missed all of yesterday's game.  The trip was planned well before I knew we were playing the Giants, let alone that it would be Ubaldo vs. Timmy.  It isn't as if I was sweating it though.  Ubaldo is untouchable after all.

After toying around with the Giants, Jimenez is now 10-1 with a 0.78 ERA on June 1.  That's not breaking news by this point, but chew on it after a night of sleep.  10-1, 0.78.  WE HAVE AN ACE.  More Ubaldo jewels:

  • Since earned runs became an official stat 98 years ago, only Eddie Cicotte (1912) and Juan Marichal (1966) achieved ten wins and an ERA under 1.00 by June 1.
  • Earlier this season, he broke the franchise record for scoreless innings by a starter by Denny Neagle and Franklin Morales.   Yesterday, he broke his own record again.
  • Per Jayson Stark:  Jimenez is the first pitcher to rip off two streaks of three straight scoreless starts in one year since Orel Hershiser's six in row in 1988, and there is still 69% of the season left.
  • If Jimenez holds the Diamondbacks scoreless into the fifth inning Friday, he will pass Gabe White's franchise record scoreless innings streak
  • Buster Olney listed the three most dominant pitches in the game on Baseball Tonight last night.  He ranked Jimenez' fastball number one, ahead of Mariano Rivera's cutter, the pitch that has by itself made the career of one of the most dominant relievers of all-time.
  • One reporter (presumably from the San Francisco Chronicle), suggested Jimenez was like Greg Maddux yesterday, with an additional 15mph.

As Gwen Knapp from the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "at this point, it's impossible to say enough about Jimenez."  We would stop gushing about Jimenez if he would stop pushing the bar higher and higher with each start. After watching Tim Lincecum for two years with supreme jealousy, yesterday was supposed to be a matchup of aces, Lincecum vs. Jimenez. As Knapp continued though, "By the end of the day, the comparisons with Lincecum, who exited in the sixth inning, had yielded to bigger analogies. Is Jimenez putting together an epic season that could rank among the most dominant in generations?"

I just can't get enough, but I'll stop for now.  Other links after the jump.

Barry Zito Redux: Bigger Breaks, Less Zip, More Questions - Beyond the Box Score
You can't be more informed about tonight's opposing starter than to read this column, which chronicles via pitch f/x the transformation Zito has made this season.


Finally, Seth Smith Can Play Everyday - Beyond the Box Score
Satchel Price at BtB rejoices over the demotion of Fowler, calling the Smith-CarGo LF/CF combo a "no-brainer" over CarGo-Dex both offensively and defensively.


Sky Sox Win Wild One, Rout Portland, 20-8 | Colorado Springs Sky Sox News
This will get covered more in the Pebble Report, I'm sure, but Dexter Fowler had arguably the best AAA debut of any Rockies player ever last night.   He walked and singled twice batting right-handed, then doubled, homered and walked from the left side.


Relief Appearances Per Game - Beyond the Box Score
The Rockies have the fifth most relief appearances per team game of any MLB team.  That's usually an indicator of a bad bullpen, but Colorado has the fifth best ERA in MLB.  Of course, the answer is that it is instead an indicator of Jim Tracy's tinkering, but you can't argue with the en results.

Additionally, the graph by Justin Bopp shows that Matt Belisle has the fourth most "save opportunities" fourth most strikeouts of any reliever in MLB and has zero blown saves.  I <3 Matt Belisle.