It's 2011, and pitcher wins are useless. If you don't agree, you're not reading this because you don't have electricity. Enjoy your flagon of goat milk, and leave us alone.
But that doesn't mean that there isn't something kind of neat about this:
That's where Ubaldo Jiménez was after 18 games last year. He was 15-1. Fifteen and one. Wins are pooh-poohed these days, but danged if there wasn't something impressive about that. When Ubaldo pitched, the Rockies won. It wasn't complicated.
And then there was Ubaldo coming into Wednesday night:
Woof. His strikeout rate was still okay -- above his career averages, anyways -- but something was off. His velocity has been down this season, most likely due to the finger problems he's had, but hitters have been swinging and missing this season at the same rate as they've always flailed at Ubaldo offerings.
The difference between 15-1 and 0-5? Walks. Ubaldo couldn't find the plate with any consistency. Exhibit C:
No walks. That's not exactly vintage Ubaldo -- he does have a career BB/9 of 4.0, after all -- but when he's performing especially well, he isn't a free-base dispensary. That line right there was from Wednesday night, by the way, when Jimenez and the Colorado Rockies avoided a sweep against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, winning 3-0 behind the four-hitter.
The Rockies scored early, getting a Jose Morales sacrifice fly in the second and a Carlos Gonzalez sacrifice fly in the third. The resurgent Todd Helton hit a solo home run in the fourth, and thus endeth the scoring for the night.
Jimenez just took over. If there's a bizarre little caution flag to throw up, it's that the Dodgers swung and missed at only four pitches the entire night. He was extremely efficient, finishing his complete-game shutout having thrown 106 pitches.
Also of note: Jon Garland threw the most Garlandian game of his career, going six innings, allowing three runs, and striking out two while walking a hitter. A completely unremarkable quality start. Jon Garland!
The Rockies have a day off before traveling to San Francisco, and the Dodgers will also enjoy an off-day before heading to Cincinnati.