Ubaldo Jimenez improves to 9-1 with a 0.88 ERA

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Last night the Diamondbacks became the latest lineup to get shut down by Ubaldo Jimenez, who tossed eight scoreless innings to improve to 9-1 with a 0.88 ERA through 10 starts. “It’s not easy to have an ERA like that young man has this late into the season,” manager Jim Tracy said afterward. “I’ve heard the term microscopic used and I think it applies.”
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com expressed a similar sentiment, writing that “it’s like Bob Gibson in 1968.” I’m all for heaping praise on Jimenez, because he’s been amazing, but how quickly we forget Zack Greinke was 8-1 with a 0.84 ERA through 10 starts … last year.
Greinke finished with a 2.16 ERA in 229 innings and following in those footsteps would surely get Jimenez over 20 wins since he’s not burdened by the Royals’ lineup. Jimenez has now allowed zero runs in five of his last eight starts.

Watch: Shohei Ohtani strikes out his first spring training batter

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Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.

On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.

It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.

While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.