Monday, May 31, 2010

Sportsman of the Month: UUUUUUUUUU

Just, uh, so you know, Bango was April's Sportsman of the Month. Sure, why not. He was my end-of-April blog post, so we'll go with the Bucks crazy, possibly psycho mascot.

May's pick is a little more worthy. And a little more awesome.

Ubaldo Jimenez officially yanked the title of "Best Pitcher in the NL West" from Timmmmmaaaaaay Lincecum on Memorial Day with his complete-game shutout of the Giants. Yes, it was the Giants batting against UUUUU, but still. That brings Ubaldo's April/May line in 11 starts to the following:

10-1, 0.78 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 2 complete game shutouts, 1 no-hitter, 1 HR against (1!), 26 walks and 70 strikeouts in 80.1 innings

Hey, look at that. I didn't pass out from excitement that time thinking about that line. Chalk that up in the win column, otherwise known as Ubaldo's home.

Do you people realize...

- Ubaldo's own batting average (.097), with just three hits at the plate, is 19 points higher than his ERA? Who's ever HEARD of that before?

- Ubaldo has left 6 games this season with a big fat zero on the opponent's side of the scoreboard? 6 scoreless starts. But hey, let's be fair to Timmy, the man who led the NL in that category in 2009. Of course, he had 7. The entire year. Not just April and May.

- Ubaldo is good at saying "No! No!" and not just against Atlanta? Think how hard it is to string together, say, 10 scoreless innings. Now think about doing 20 in a row. Not quite enough? Okay, let's settle in at 25. Twenty-five consecutive innings - 75 outs in succession - without allowing a run. Now imagine doing it twice. In the same season. Ubaldo's done it. Again, in April and May.

- Ubaldo needs just one more win to equal the Rockies record for wins before the All-Star Break? Feel free to take your time, UUUUUUUUUU, since that won't be for another seven starts or so. (Actually, no, please, don't take your time. The Rox are 17-23 with you in the dugout wearing a Starter jacket.)

- That speaking of which, in UUUUUUUUUU's 11 starts, the Rockies have spotted him 5, 4, 4, 2, 12, 5, 0, 6, 4, 7, and 4 runs? Take out the outlying 12-1 win over Arizona, and the Rox are giving UUUUUUUUUU 4.1 runs per start. Not exactly the '27 Yankees slugging him to cheap victories.

- Only three pitchers in the last 100 years (since ERA was created) have won 10 of their first 11 starts with lower than a 1.00 ERA? Juan Marichal, in 1966, is the only other man besides U to do it since the Great Depression.

- Ubaldo became the sixth pitcher in the last 20 years to win 10 games in April and May? Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and John Smoltz are three others. They're pretty good. They went on to win this thing called the Cy Young Award.

- That in 5 career head-to-head matchups, the scoreboard reads Ubaldo Jimenez 4, Tim Lincecum 1?

- That Jim Tracy, usually a well-spoken man, said the following after Monday: "I am beginning to run out of words, really, to describe not only the excellence, but the dominance in which this guy is pitching up to this point. This is just another fabulous start ... what else can I say? Enough said."?

- That Ubaldo will probably still not get that thing called the Cy Young Award because of a certain Colorado native pitching in Philadelphia? East-coast bias is an ugly thing. Of course, the cruel injustice in such a situation would be all those years of national writers making excuses for explosive Rockies hitters playing in Coors Field being swept abruptly under the rug.

Frankly, I wouldn't care. Really, I wouldn't. These have been two months for the ages, and I can't wait to see how much longer UUUUUUUUUU can keep this UUUUUUUUUUp.

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