Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thoughts On Ubaldo Jimenez's No-Hitter

A day later the excitement is starting to sink in for Rockies fans. For years Rockies pitchers struggled to throw a complete game shutout, let alone a no-hitter. The Rockies organization for years was about pounding the baseball and winning baseball games with football scores.

The no-hitter underscores once again that the organizations decision to build from within was the right way to go. To say it took patience is a huge understatement. While the many media types bashed the organization and fans were jumping off the bandwagon as quick as possible there were still believers. No doubt about it, the patience was tried. The years were rough for Rockies fans.

The rough years, however, seem to make success sweeter for those who were patient. Many will say that they were fans the whole way through, but few will be honest about it. These Rockies are a legitimate contender. With Ubaldo Jimenez on the mound long term the Rockies will have a chance to win every fifth day.

The wait is over for Rockies fans. The patience is being rewarded.

Some other things to think about:

-In a no-hitter there always seems to be the amazing defensive play that saves the day for the pitcher. Dexter Fowler played that role for the Rockies on Saturday. The catch was nothing short of amazing. The flyball off the bat of Troy Glaus was hardly a floater. Glaus ripped the 96 MPH fastball and off the bat not a soul in the stadium - save Dexter Fowler - believed it would be caught.

-The game turned two star players into household names. Jimenez was gaining a reputation, but for the most part, baseball people dismiss the Rockies statistics, offensive or defensive. A no-hitter cannot be ignored. Fowler, possibly the fastest player in the game, will not live in secrecy any more. Everyone in the game now knows what he can do.

-Just how special is a no-hitter? Take a look at some of the names that never threw one or have yet to throw one.
Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Josh Beckett, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, Jake Peavy, Mike Mussina, Tim Lincecum, Curt Schilling, Tom Glavine, CC Sabathia...just to name a few. Jimenez joins an elite group of players who have thrown a no-hitter at the Major League level.

It is early, but it might not be too much of a stretch to suggest that if Jimenez continues pitching well this season that he could end up being the starter for the National League in the All-Star game. There may be a few Giants fans who have something to say about that, but Jimenez's talent is undeniable.

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  1. I should take offense to the Giants fan comment in your last sentence. But we know I appreciate the Ubaldo. And he and Lincecum are both phenomenal pitchers, each in their own way. And I think Timmy's destined to pitch a perfect game before a no-no. Just his style. :)

  2. Ha! Talk is cheap. I think Lincecum is a great pitcher...but great pitcher does not ensure a no hitter!