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: Christian Yelich continues to make a case for NL MVP repeat

Christian Yelich
AP Images
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Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.

The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.

While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.

Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.

It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.