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Ubaldo Saves the Day—Again

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Colorado Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez claimed his 13th win of the season yesterday, leading his team to a 5-1 victory at Target Field and preventing a series sweep by the Minnesota Twins.

As The Denver Post points out, Jimenez is really the only reason the Rockies’ season thus far hasn’t been a colossal failure: He’s now turned around three of the Rockies’ four losing streaks.

“You don’t want to be in that situation…but you take a lot of pride,” Jimenez says. “Especially when you’ve lost the first two games of a series and you’ve got to go out and compete for your team and get a win.”

It’s quite accurate to say that Jimenez has been carrying the Rockies, even though it’s impossible to say where the team would be without him, since we don’t know who’d be pitching in his place. Indeed, the Rockies seem to be treading water, barely staying alive in the National League West (via MLB.com).

The Dodgers and the Padres are tied for first in the division, and the San Francisco Giants maintain a half-game lead on the Rockies. Jimenez is the only reason the Rockies are even that close, but count The New York Times as one news outlet that doesn’t think he’ll be able to endure: “As tremendous as Jimenez has been, there is one big reason to believe he will have a difficult time maintaining this pace in the second half of the season. Quite simply, he has been lucky.”

The paper uses “lucky” because the hitters Jimenez is facing aren’t batting many quality hits. Research has shown that even the best pitchers struggle to maintain that type of dominance. Over time, hitters will figure him out and convert more hits into runs. “Jimenez may be good,” the Times continues, “but he can’t always be lucky.”

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