Ubaldo Jimenez is so funny. He spends weeks and even months convincing us all that he doesn’t deserve to be in the Indians rotation. He frustrates. He makes us want to boo. Some of us even wrote an entire piece calling for his ouster from the roster. But here is the thing. The options for the Indians in terms of starting pitchers are dwindling by the day. Even if they wanted to, they couldn’t get rid of Ubaldo. Not with injuries to Brett Myers and Carlos Carrasco. Corey Kluber is already here. Trevor Bauer, Wednesday’s spot starter, is essentially the last remaining realistic choice for GM Chris Antonetti to call on. So Ubaldo has to perform.
My neighbor has told me for years “if you go in with low expectations, then you usually come out pleasantly surprised.” That was exactly where I was last night, and where I am at this point every single time Ubaldo takes the mound. The Indians truly have no idea which guy is going to show up. Will he last two innings, have zero command, walk everything in sight, and give up the big hits? Will he last five innings? Would he dare surprise everyone and actually make it past the sixth, something he had done just twice since June 16th of last year? Would he actually win a road start for the first time in 11 months?
With the opportunity to come way from this three-city, week and a half long road trip with a winning record, Jimenez would have to show out. He did that last night and more. I would be hard-pressed to find a better Ubaldo performance in Wahoo Red, White, and Blue than what I witnessed last night. The line speaks for itself.
Seven Innings. No Runs. Three Hits. Two Walks. Four Strikeouts. [Read more...]