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News » Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2009-04-14

Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2009-04-14

Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2009-04-14
The Rockies have every reason to be bullish on Ubaldo Jimenez, whom they signed to a four-year, $10 million contract this winter after he finished his first full season in the majors. Few pitchers in the National League have better overall stuff than Jimenez. But harnessing that stuff in adverse conditions was the challenge Monday at Wrigley Field, and Jimenez, 25, fell far short.

After beginning the season with seven scoreless innings April 7 at Chase Field, where the roof was closed, Jimenez took the mound at Wrigley Field. It was 36 degrees, damp and cold when the Cubs' home opener began after rain delayed the start 1 hour, 12 minutes.

Jimenez allowed four hits and three runs in 3 2/3 innings and tied his career high with six walks. He issued his final two walks in the fourth, including one to Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly, after Koyie Hill opened the inning with a single.

As miserable as the weather conditions were, both starting pitchers had to deal with those variables, and the veteran Lilly shrugged them off. He held the Rockies hitless for 6 2/3 innings and clearly was able to find a consistent release point.

That wasn't the case with Jimenez, who threw 104 pitches, just 55 for strikes. He showed that even with his sublime talent and his considerable promise, he has work to do before being becoming an elite pitcher.

Jimenez made his first major league start at Wrigley Field on Oct. 1, 2006, in the final game of that season. It was Jimenez's second big-league appearance, and he allowed three runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings with three walks and three strikeouts in a game the Rockies lost 7-5. Jimenez has come a long way since then, but in his 53rd big-league start, raw, wet weather proved too formidable an adversary for Jimenez but never bothered Lilly.

CUBS 4, ROCKIES 0: LHP Ted Lilly held the Rockies hitless for 6 2/3 innings before Garrett Atkins singled through the hole at shortstop. That was the only hit of the game for the Rockies, who lost their third straight game, this one in the Cubs' home opener at Wrigley Field. Ubaldo Jimenez labored through 3 2/3 innings and walked six, tying his career high, and left with runners on first and second in the fourth. Glendon Rusch gave up a single to Derrek Lee, the first batter he faced, for the second run of the inning and a 3-0 Chicago lead.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 14, 2009

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