Friday, July 9, 2010
The Closer: Back on track
By ESPN Stats & Info
He allowed 17 runs in his previous three starts prior to Thursday, but Ubaldo Jimenez regained some of that early season magic against the Cardinals. In this edition of The Closer, we'll show you how Jimenez was able to win his 15th game heading into the All-Star break.
How Ubaldo Jimenez bounced back against the Cardinals:
- Kept hitters off balance: Jimenez didn't get ahead as often as usual, throwing only 29 pitches when he was ahead in the count, as opposed to his average of 37 coming in. When he did, however, the Cardinals were baffled, going 0 for 14 when Jimenez was ahead. The Rockies ace used all five of his pitches when ahead, including his fastball just 38 percent of the time. Coming in, he threw his fastball 49 percent when ahead.
- Improved fastball command: Before Thursday's start, Jimenez said his mechanics are to blame for his recent struggles. "I am flying open with my right shoulder, so I haven't had the same command of my fastball," he told the Denver Post. Against the Cardinals, he was able to keep his fastball down with improved results.
Jimenez sets mark for best winning percentage at the break
Ubaldo Jimenez should go into the All-Star break with a 15–1 record as a result of his win over St. Louis on Thursday. Jimenez’s .938 winning percentage at the break will be the highest ever by a pitcher with 15 or more decisions before the All-Star Game, breaking the mark set by the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Don Newcombe in 1955 (14–1, .933).