On Tuesday night Ubaldo Jimenez made it clear who the best pitcher in the National League is. He led the Rockies on the mound as the club rolled to a 12-1 victory over the Diamondbacks.
On Monday all the national baseball shows could talk about was how good Roy Halladay has been. On Baseball Tonight Bobby Valentine went as far as saying that if the season were to end today, the only two pitchers in contention for the NL Cy Young award would be Halladay and Mets starter Mike Pelfrey.
Jimenez is a man of few words. He is not one to publicly lobby for his name to be mentioned.
He doesn't have to. His pitching says more than any words could ever get across.
An offensive explosion resulted in Jimenez only needing to pitch six innings, and only throwing 95 pitches, a welcomed break from his two previous starts in which he was in the 120's.
Jimenez gave up only two hits, struck out six and walked just two hitters on the night, lowering his ERA to 0.79 and making him the first pitcher in the big leagues to win five games. His six shutout innings put his scoreless innings streak at 22-1/3, a new Rockies record, breaking one of the final records that Kevin Ritz held.
The fact is, it will not be long before Jimenez rewrites the Rockies record book. By the time his playing days are over, the Dominican flamethrower should hold ever record the club can imagine. His 5-0 start is no fluke, he is the real deal, and eventually people are going to notice.
Before the first inning was over, Jimenez had all of the run support that he would need. With Eric Young Jr. in the starting lineup for the first time it allowed Jim Tracy to move Carlos Gonzalez to the five hole. He made the move look brilliant, collecting a first inning two run double and collecting a triple and single, knocking in a total of five runs on the night.
The Rockies posted three runs in the first inning, four in the second and tacked on four more in the third inning. Troy Tulowitzki erased any doubt that he could have a good April, going 3-for-3 with two doubles. He increased his early season batting average to a white hot .325.
Edwin Jackson, one of the Diamondbacks big acquisitions in the offseason, paid the price on the mound. In 2-2/3 innings he gave up 10 earned runs. The loss put him at 1-2 with an ugly 6.67 ERA.
The Rockies lineup clicked on Tuesday night. Whether it was the spark that Young brings as a starter, or having Gonzalez in the five hole, this team figured something out. That was inevitably going to happen, opponents were just hoping that it would happen later rather than sooner. If the Rockies can bring these same bats with them on a nine-game road trip starting on Friday, there will be no concern for all of the injured players on the roster.
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