Ubaldo's Struggles Shouldn't Surprise Us
Ubaldo Jimenez's struggles have been a bit of a mystery to the Colorado Rockies. Just one year after going 19-8 with a impressive 2.88 ERA and holding opponent's to a cool .209 AVG, Jimenez has struggled thus far. Going 0-2 with a sky high ERA of 5.88 and teams hitting .222 off of him, he has failed to be the No.1 starter he showed he was capable of being last year. Why you might ask, is Ulbado having so much trouble this year?
Last year he looked like one of the most dominating pitchers around. Well maybe it's the teams hes faced this year. Maybe they have been solid teams and have been able to wear him down. That would explain the high ERA right? Actually no. To this point he has faced Average teams in Arizona and Florida and sub-par teams with San Francisco and Pittsburgh, and had very poor starts, failing to reach past the 6th inning in all 4 starts so far this year. Looking at these teams stats for this year, doesn't really help Jimenez's case either.
In his first game of the year, Ulbaldo faced the Arizona Diamondbacks who sit 4th in their division with a 12-15 record. And searching into the teams offensive numbers we see that any "ace" should have handled this team just fine. The D-Backs have the 17th best AVG in the Majors, are 18th in Walks, 17th in OBP which are fairly average numbers. But if you want to be a Major League star, you have to beat the average teams consistently. Ulbaldo had a terrible time in his opening start, he gave up 7 hits along with 6 runs (5 earned), 2 HR's,1 walk and hitting 1 batter while recording just one KO after throwing 98 pitches over 6 innings on his way to a no decision. Now while he did get hindered by a right thumb injury, he stayed in the game and was unable to produce.
After getting off the disabled list, Jimenez looked to bounce back against the San Francisco Giants who are 13-15 just .5 games ahead of the Diamondbacks making them 3rd in the NL West. Sure, their the defending World Series champions, winning the coveted trophy in 2010, but they definitely are not playing like it in '11. The Giants have the 7th worst AVG in Major League Baseball, strikeout the 12th most of any team and get the fewest walk, 29th in the league are 29th in OBP and grounding into 25 double plays, good for 6th worst in the league. Not really, championship caliber stuff. Actually not even close. So how did Jimenez do against them? Well shortly after giving up 6 hits 4 runs (all earned), gave up a homer, 2 walks, and hitting another batter he was pulled before the 6th inning after he threw 92 pitches, he was on the hook for loss when he left, and his team was unable to recover. Although on the plus side he did SO 6.Continued on the next page