Saturday, August 6, 2011

You win some, Ubaldo some

Well, that was interesting. In his Indians’ debut Friday night Ubaldo Jimenez got enough runs to win, left with the lead _ but didn’t win.

He also didn’t lose, which is a victory of sorts for Indians pitchers these days. The newest Indian did get a taste of the excruciating way in which the Indians sometimes lose. This one, an 8-7 loss to Texas in 11 innings, was the Indians’ third loss on this road trip. All three losses have come on walkoff hits by their opponents, and two of those hits were walkoff homers.


Jimenez probably didn’t deserve to win Friday, since he really didn’t pitch very well. He gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks in five innings.

He also threw a whopping 108 pitches in those five innings. The Indians twice gave him 5-run leads: 6-1 and 7-2. There was also a 3-0 lead after the top of the first.

Unfortunately for Jimenez and the Indians he gave up single runs in each of the first three innings, then left the game in explosive fashion, giving up a home run to Mike Napoli leading off the sixth inning, prior to walking the next batter.

It was hardly a No.1 starter-type performance, but we can probably give Jimenez a mulligan on this start. He is still trying to get over his last bizarre appearance as a member of the Colorado Rockies, in which he actually started a game, pitched one inning, and threw 40 pitches, even though for all intents and purposes he was no longer a member of the Rockies.

Once Jimenez can settle into an every-five-days routine with the Indians he should be fine. His next start will come next week in the Indians’ huge series with Detroit. He’ll presumably be much sharper in that one, although he did strikeout seven in five innings Friday.

“Ubaldo had pretty good stuff, he just didn’t have very good command early in the game,” Tribe manager Manny Acta told reporters after Friday’s game. “His pitch count went up too much in the first three innings and that hurt him. But he showed a good fastball, good breaking ball, and good changeup.”

Even with all that Jimenez would have been the winning pitcher had closer Chris Perez, with the Indians leading 7-5, two outs and nobody on base, been able to close the deal in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Perez didn’t, so Jimenez will have to wait another five days, at least, to win his first game with the Indians.


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