It finally happened; the Rockies maintained a meager three-run lead, and Ubaldo Jimenez registered his first win of the season Wednesday in a complete-game shutout against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jimenez has suffered the last month from a lack of run support, which cost him chances at a few wins. This lack of productivity has left Jimenez 1-5 on the season. In the opening game of the L.A. series, the Rockies had 14 hits against the Dodgers 11, yet lost the game 7-1. The run support has been terrible this season, and, somehow, the Rockies cannot manage to keep a game close when they get behind.
Jimenez should have a slightly better record than 1-5. He hasn’t been the same pitcher he was before the All-Star break last season, but this team hasn’t been either. His ERA is almost 5.00 and he has 30 walks charged to him, which ranks pretty high amongst pitchers league-wide.
In order for Ubaldo to get right, the Rockies need to get right and fast. The Rockies were 17-9 on May 1, and after the first game of June, their record stands at 26-29. Using only two hands, we can count the number of Rockies wins in the last month: nine. That’s right, nine wins and 20 losses. Pathetic after such a promising start.
Some days the Rockies show up, but it only seems to really be on blow-out days. Of the eight wins last month, half were blow-outs. They pounded the Padres 12-7, pummeled the Phillies 7-1, smacked Arizona 12-4 and plucked the Cardinals 15-4. The rest were only won by three runs or less.
The winning starts at the on-deck circle, moves to the plate and culminates with more than a couple guys crossing home plate when the game is over. Baseball is a game of futility and low scoring affairs, generally, but when you aren’t scoring, it only becomes more futile.