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Gameday Thread, #57: 6/6 vs. Rockies [The House Money Game]


Ubaldo Jimenez
RHP, 10-1, 0.78


Rodrigo Lopez
RHP, 2-3, 4.31

Pity poor Rodrigo Lopez. Over his five May starts, the worst pitcher he faced was Chad Billingsley (ERA+ 102). His other starts have been against Tommy Hanson (109), Brett Myers (136), two-time reigning Cy Young champion Tim Lincecum (136) and Ubaldo Jimenez (572). Today, it's Jimenez again. Welcome to June, Rodrigo. Still, as the subject line says, we've already got the series in the bag, and anything on top of that will be a bonus.

It being the first Sunday of the month, we have a guest recapper, and pygalgia is the man in question. We'll be leaving the house about 4pm, so if one of the other editors can do the needful for the Fanpost, add the rollcall, etc. it'd be appreciated. Line-up and reasons why we can beat Ubaldo today, after the jump.

  1. Kelly Johnson 2B
  2. Conor Jackson LF
  3. Adam LaRoche 1B
  4. Mark Reynolds 3B
  5. Chris Young CF
  6. Gerardo Parra RF
  7. Chris Snyder C
  8. Augie Ojeda SS
  9. Rodrigo Lopez RHP

So, why can we beat Jimenez? Simple: he has been phenomenally lucky so far. A BABIP of .228 is fourth-lowest in the entire majors and is completely unsustainable - last year, no-one was even at .250 over the full season. Even more extreme is his HR/FB rate of 1.3%, second-lowest in the majors - again, in 2009, no-one was below 3.4%. So sooner or later those fly-balls will start flying out of the park, and those hits will start finding the gaps. Why not this afternoon? Make no mistake, Ubaldo is a good pitcher. But he's not that good. If you look at xFIP, a stat which normalizes pitching performance for things like BABIP and HR/FB, Jimenez isn't even in the top dozen this year.

It will take patience and it will take good execution at the plate to be able to do it, but he is beatable. We've seen this roster deconstruct an ace already, in Tim Lincecum, so here's to us being able to do it again. As noted, I'll be out of the house at 4pm, but hopefully we will be well on our way to proving the mortality of Jimenez, and completing a sweep of the Rockies - who are really not that good a team beyond their ace, being only 18-26 when Ubaldo doesn't start. There was a bit of a different feel to the team yesterday, and so I'm hoping for a third straight victory.