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Wednesday, August 11, 2010
One tough game for Rockies, Jimenez

Tough loss for the Rockies last night, but that's nothing new; the Rockies' 17-20 record in one-run games is the worst in the National League West (but pales next to the Cubs' 13-27 mark). What really hurt was losing 1-0 with their best pitcher pitching brilliantly:

I'm usually among the first to sympathize with pitchers stuck with lousy run support. But when you see a pitcher who's 17-3, you can usually assume that he's pitched really well and been blessed with (at least) decent run support.

Which he has, on both counts. The Rockies have scored 5.5 runs per nine innings in Jimenez's starts, which is actually the highest rate in his career by quite a lot. On the 23rd of June, he gave up six runs and got a no-decision (Rockies won, 8-6). Two weeks later he gave up seven runs and got another no-decision (Rockies lost that one). Two weeks later he gave up six runs and got another no-decision (Rockies lost again). And in his next start, Jimenez gave up six runs (again) and this time he did take the loss, just his second of the season.

That concluded a run of six starts in which Jimenez posted a 7.64 ERA but lost just once because the Rockies scored 40 runs.

More relevant to the team -- and to Jimenez, if you believe him (I do) -- his little slump seems to have ended, as he's given up just one run in each of his past three starts. If he keeps pitching like this, he'll keep winning. I don't believe he's been (or is) the best pitcher in the National League. But if he wins 22 or 23 games he's going to be the favorite choice for a bunch of Cy Young voters.