Ubaldo Jimenez has been nothing short of spectacular throughout the 2010 Major League Baseball season.
His great play continued on Wednesday night, as Jimenez (9-1) tossed eight innings of shutout baseball and got solid run support from his offense in the Colorado Rockies 7-3 victory over the division rival Arizona Diamondbacks.
His eight innings of scoreless pitching on Wednesday combined with his his previous stretch now makes it 16 1/3 innings where Jimenez has not allowed a single earned-run to cross home plate.
It was his ninth win of the year, which puts him atop all other pitchers.
“It’s not easy to have an ERA like that young man has this late into the season,” remarked Colorado manager Jim Tracy. “I’ve heard the term microscopic used and I think it applies.”
Jimenez was aided by home runs by Carlos Gonzalez and Seth Smith, who hit two to propel the Rockies to the victory. Adding to the equation was Miguel Olivo, who tabbed three hits on the day.
Colorado has now won four consecutive games, making it the longest win streak of the season for the team.
It looked as if the Diamondbacks would be able to get to Jimenez early in the game, as Kelly Johnson hit a double in the gap to in the top of the first inning. However the Rockies defense came through as Gonzalez stole a hit from Stephen Drew to get out of the inning.
“I thought I had it. At least a double, but Gonzalez made the play,” Drew said. “You never know what happens after that. He ran the perfect route.”
The Colorado manager echoed the same sentiment.
“A tremendous catch to end the first inning on the ball that Drew hit,” he said.
In the second and third innings, Arizona was able to get runners on base, but could not produce or manufacture any runs.
“At the beginning of the game they were hacking every first-pitch fastball and they were hitting it good,” Jimenez said after the game. “After the third inning I got better. I was using a couple of breaking balls because they were looking for the fastball.”
Jimenez was a master at adjusting to the situation however, and was able to shut down the Diamondback line up.
“He is becoming a little more of a pitcher,” Diamondback manager A.J. Hinch remarked. “He mixed in his off-speed pitches a little more now than when he was younger.”
Colorado is currently in the middle of the pack on Online Sportsbooks to win the 2010 World Series, but if Jimenez is able to keep up his performances, they will be a difficult match up in the playoffs