Folks… THAT is what you call a statement game.
Jimenez comes into AT&T Park against Lincecum, throws the complete game shutout, goes to 10-1 with a sickening ERA of 0.78.
He’s the 15th pitcher to win 10 games before June 1 (Brandon Webb last did it in 2008) and 20 wins seems like a given now.
Could he be the first big league pitcher to win 25 or more since Bob Welch won 27 in 1990 for the A’s? No National League pitcher has won 25 since Steve Carlton in 1972… 38 years ago.
4 wins a month for the rest of the season will get him at 26.
5 wins a month? Well that will be 30 wins… but we won’t go there.
My friend, the brilliant writer Andres DuBouchet asked me if this was the best start to a season ever.
I can’t be 100% sure… Pedro Martinez had a sub 1.00 ERA in June in 2000 during the height of the steroid era. And one of his 2 losses by June was a complete game against Tampa where he let up 1 run and struck out 17.
Fernando Valenzuela started the 1981 season with 8 complete game victories. He was 9-2 on June 1st, all 9 victories complete games with a 1.90 ERA. Pretty damn good.
I say Jimenez is better than both Pedro and Fernando. He calls home Coors Field, which is almost unfair.
One thing IS for certain: He is well on his way to the best regular season in Rockies history!
Here are the Rockies regular season records in pitching categories compared to Jimenez’s current numbers:
Best ERA: 2.80 (Marvin Freeman, 1994)
Most wins: 17 (Kevin Ritz, 1996, Pedro Astacio, 1999, Jeff Francis, 2007)
Best WHIP: 1.207 (Marvin Freeman, 1994)
Most innings pitched: 232 (Pedro Astacio, 1999)
Jimenez: 80 1/3
Most Strikeouts: 210 (Pedro Astacio, 1999)
Most Complete Games: 7 (Pedro Astacio, 1999)
Most Shutouts: 2 (Roger Bailey, 1997, Jason Jennings, 2006)
Fewest Homeruns per 9 innings: 0.498 (Ubaldo Jimenez, 2008)
Fewest hits per 9 innings: 7.555 (Ublaldo Jimenez, 2009)
You get the point.
He’s rewriting his own team’s record book and throwing away the qualifier of adjusting his stats for Coors Field.
I am not sure it is the best start ever… but it’s damn good.