Ubaldo Jimenez looked absolutely finished just a handful of weeks ago. But something has clicked.
The Indians right-hander allowed just one earned run on three hits over six innings Saturday in Cleveland’s 7-6 defeat of the Tigers and now boasts a 3-0 record, 1.45 ERA, 0.857 WHIP and 20/6 K/BB ratio over his last 18 2/3 innings (three starts).
Maybe Jimenez has run into a patch of good luck, or maybe he’s rediscovering some of his old form.
Ubaldo posted a 2.88 ERA and struck out 214 batters over 221 2/3 innings in 2010 as the ace of the Rockies.
The 29-year-old will take on the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park next time out.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Pirates 11, Mets 2
Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 2
Rockies 0, Cardinals 3
Cubs 8, Nationals 2
Braves 1, Giants 10
Brewers 7, Reds 13
Padres 7, Rays 8
Indians 7, Tigers 6
Angels 3, White Sox 2
Yankees 3, Royals 2
Orioles 5, Twins 8
Rangers 8, Astros 7
Phillies 3, Diamondbacks 1
Athletics 4, Mariners 3
Marlins 1, Dodgers 7
On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”
Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.