Facing this year's phenom, one could accept low expectations. Facing a pitcher with an ERA below one after eleven starts, when your team is...well...struggling, and 'hope' isn't the first thing that comes to mind. No Upton (0-15 against Ubaldo) or Drew (injured finger) in the lineup, though. I had a great script for a dramatic victory and the sweep of the Rockies planned, but reality refused to cooperate.
Jimenez and the Rockies won, 3-2. Not what we wanted, but at least the game had some drama, and Jimenez's ERA went up. Always look on the bright side, right? We still won the series, and even had a few positive things to take away from the loss.
Gory details after the jump.
First, Rodrigo "Green Lantern" Lopez (I'm still not big on that nickname, but I'll accept it) continues to have a tougher draw of opposing pitchers than should be allowed. He's pitched well enough to deserve an easy win someday, and today was no exception.. Lopez sailed through the first four inning rather efficiently; not overwhelming, but quite effective. However, he gave up two in the fifth and a Tulo home run in the sixth. Final line: 7 innings, 9 hits, 3 runs. Acceptable, but also enough to hang another loss behind his name.
Meanwhile, the offense offended me by the end of the first inning. When facing an elite pitcher, you must make the most of any opportunity. Error, base hit, walk; bases loaded with one out...this is where elite teams would pounce on Jimenez. We didn't. A double play ended the threat.
And Ubaldo settled into a groove. Through seven, he looked like he might not allow a run for the rest of the year. Oh, we scattered some hits, most notably a Parra triple aided by a near collision in left, but Jimenez looked completely in control. Eighth inning, down 3-0...sounds pretty hopeless, right?
Baseball was created to defy expectations. A Kelly Johnson double brings up a struggling Conor Jackson...who promptly hit his first home run in over a year, ending Ubaldo's 33 scoreless inning streak. We have hope! Adam LaRoche walks, and Jimenez is done. CY singles, and we have even more hope! Which got dashed, as we failed to score.
Another loss. Not a bad loss, but still a loss.
Master of his domain: Conor Jackson, +13.3%
Honorable mention: Adam LaRoche, +11.3%
God-emperor of suck: Chris Snyder, -15.6%
Dishonorable mentions: Parra, -14.4%; Reynolds, -11.0%
Well, I hope one of the 'pit heroes will promote this, add the fangraph and roll call, and buy me a beer. Well, I don't know about the last - simply a matter of distance, you understand... - but the fangraph is below, it has been promoted, and here is the rollcall: Jdub220 was the only one to crack three figures, with kishi and skoormit getting past fifty apiece. Also-rans: DbacksSkins, Jim McLennan, Rockkstarr12, pygalgia, Clefo, BattleMoses, hotclaws, snakecharmer, mrssoco, Wailord, MidnghtDrgn, Dallas D'Back Fan, Turambar, blank_38, diamondintherough, SenSurround, emilylovesthedbacks and Bryan J. Boltik.
Only about 530 comments as of this writing, and only one (by Jim) turned green. But my favorite was this by Rockstarr12:
"Ubaldo Jimenez's ERA
is lower than the Titanic"
Big thanks to pygalgia for doing the recap!