Sunday, May 9, 2010

Jimenez Gives Up Two Hits, Rockies Lose

It had to happen. At some point Ubaldo Jimenez was going to pick up a loss.

However, most figured it would be on a day when the flame throwing Dominican simply didn't have it. That wasn't the case on Sunday as Jimenez gave up two hits, one off of his own glove, and lost to the Dodgers 2-0 on the final game of a nine-game California road trip.

The Rockies offense never got going against Clayton Kershaw. The 22 year-old left hander was energized by getting out of a bases loaded 1st inning jam. He never looked back.

The Rockies did not hit a ball out of the infield until Clint Barmes flied out to left field in the seventh inning. Todd Helton struck out three times, something that will take some serious digging to find out the last time that happened.

For Jimenez, even taking a loss can be impressive. He did not have his best stuff on the mound. He lacked fastball command and was overthrowing. With most pitchers, when these symptoms are seen they give up a bunch of hits and a handful of runs. Not Jimenez, when he is off of his game he gives up one run on two hits through seven innings, while striking out five, including Andre Either three times, while walking four.

What may end up being more of a story than Jimenez picking up his first loss could be what happened in the 5th inning. Jamey Carrol hit a ground ball back to Jimenez, who wheeled and threw to Troy Tulowitzki at second base. Tulo caught the ball and made a throw to first in an ill-fated attempted at a double play. While nothing looked wrong with the throw, Tulowitzki came up walking gingerly. When the shortstop motioned to the dugout it was obvious that he was more than just hurt.

Tulowitzki came out of the game with a quad strain. While the injury is the same one that saw him miss six weeks in 2008, that time it was the left quad. This injury is on the right side. Tulowitzki is listed as day-to-day, but with a leg injury it can be tough to predict how bad it is until the next day. The fact is, if Tulowitzki misses any significant amount of time on the disabled list, the Rockies may as well kiss their season goodbye.

While losing Tulowitzki to injury and Jimenez picking up a loss, the road trip was not all bad. The Rockies finished at 4-5 on a trip that could have been devastating based on their history in two of the three parks and based on the injuries that were forcing the club to put two very inexperienced starters on the mound for a combined total of four times on the road trip.

The Rockies return home on Monday, starting a three game series against the Phillies. While the Phillies have yet to announce their starter for the Tuesday game, all indications suggest that Roy Halladay will be toeing the rubber for the first time at Coors Field in his career. The Arvada native is one of three names mentioned in the early Cy Young talk. Pitching in front of his family and friends for the first time at home may be extra motivation for Halladay, but it could also be a chance for the Rockies offense to help their teammate win a Cy Young award. Although that talk is premature at this point.

For more on the Rockies visit RockiesReview.com

This article is also featured on InDenverTimes.com


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