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Ubal-NO 04/18/2010

Posted by sportretort in mlb, Sports.
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Jimenez throws a pitch Saturday

Like most things human, the game pitched by Colorado Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez was far from perfect. Still, it was a masterpiece. Jimenez’s gem was only the 264th no-hitter in MLB history. 264 sounds like a lot. No big deal, really, untill you realize that there have been over 190,000 games played in MLB history.

Complain all you want about the 6 walks allowed, as if that somehow diminishes the accomplishment. Sure, the control was not there at the beginning. Still, this 26-year-old did something most pictures never do. Not one batter reached base safely via a batted ball. None. Nada. Center fielder Dexter Fowler made a tremendous catch in the 7th inning to save the feat. We have all seen that catch on highlight shows many times by now. If you didn’t actually watch the game, you may not know that Fowler also made a merely spectacular catch in the same inning. That will not diminish the feat. Almost all no-hitters have a key play or two that define the event. What many do not talk about is how Jimenez contributed to the game offensively. In the 4th inning, he came to the plate with two outs and two runners on. The Rockies were leading 1-0 at the time. He singled to center, driving in a run and advancing Ian Stewart from first to third, then took 2nd on the throw. That heads up base running play allowed him to score on Carlos Gonzalez’s double Instead of a 1-0 lead had he made an out, the Rockies finished the 4th, and the game for that matter, with a 4-0 lead. This game showed the ability of Jimenez.

Jiminez is mobbed by his teammmates after the final out

The thing is that the no-hitter came as no surprise to his teammates. Jimenez played a big role late in the 2007 season as the Rockies went on their mad run to the World Series. He won 15 games last season. To a man last night, including Manager Jim Tracey and long time Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, two old vets that are hard to impress, the Rockies talked about how they knew it would happen sooner or later for this guy. Some have been saying it since ’07. He has crazy good stuff. He consistently goes deep into games. He was in the top 5 in innings and pitches thrown in the NL last season. He makes it look effortless. In fact, his fastball was constantly hitting the speed gun at over 95 mph all night. The final pitch he threw was clocked at 98 mph. It was his 128th pitch of the evening! His teammates say he is a great guy. A real class act. One of the hardest workers on the team. As if to prove the point, did this guy rest on a job well done? Nope. There he was early Sunday morning, finishing his 6 mile run, just like he does after every start.

Congrats, Ubaldo! Keep that work ethic and this highlight is just a beginning for you. One thing is for sure. Ubaldo Jimenez is no longer one of the best pitchers that no one has heard of.

The Turner Field score board tells the story

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Wednesday Whimsey 06/10/2009

Posted by sportretort in mlb, NFL, nhl, Sports, Uncategorized.
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Some random thoughts and observations…..

Flipping between game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals and game 3 of The Finals of the NBA reinforced my long held opinion that there is more crowd energy at a hockey playoff game than at an NBA playoff game.  I will admit that I have attended many more NHL playoff games than NBA playoff games, but that building in Pittsburgh rocked from the first puck drop.

The rackus "white out" fans in Pittsburgh raised the roof all game Tuesday

The raucous "white out" fans in Pittsburgh raised the roof all game Tuesday

What a game between the Red Wings and Penguins.  Game seven on Saturday should be quite a battle.  I know this series has been all about home ice and the last six game sevens in a finals series went to the home team.  That’s why I’m picking the visiting Penguins to win the Cup in Detroit.  They had more energy in game six.

No such luck in the NBA Finals.  The underdog Orlando Magic won game 3 (their first at home) to make the series 2-1 Lakers.  But If I were a Magic fan, I would be concerned that Orlando shot 62% from the field and still only won by 4 points.  Sure, they sped the game up as they needed to do, and they broke the century mark for the first time in the series, but they can not continue to shoot at this rate.  The Series is in the bag for the Lakers, probably in 6 games.

The way that the MLB Atlanta Braves treated future hall of fame pitcher Tom Glavine last week was disgraceful. 

Tom Glavine deserved better treatment from the Braves

Tom Glavine deserved better treatment from the Braves

 I have no problem that he was given his release.  Baseball is a business.  But all Glavine did for the Braves in his 17 seasons with them was to record 244 of his 305 career wins with them, make 8  all star games and win 2 Cy Young Awards. (He also had 2 All Star appearances during his 4 seasons with the New York Mets.)  This guy gave his heart and soul to the Braves.  He deserved better than to have been released after a rehab stint in A ball.  The Braves organization showed a complete lack of class.

While we are on baseball, has anyone noticed that the hottest team in baseball currently is the Colorado Rockies with 6 straight wins? ……. No, I didn’t think so!  Hey, 6 more and the Rocks will find the .500 mark.

Word out of New York is that the Jets and their first round (#5 overall) pick QB Mark Sanchez have reached a contract agreement.  Sanchez was already in camp learning the system and is battling Kellen Clemens for the starting job.  How refreshing to see a high skill position draft pick actually show that he wants to play, and not miss part of camp for a contract holdout.