Major League Baseball - Latest Round-Up
Ubaldo Jimenez threw the first no-hitter in Colorado Rockies history on Saturday night at Atlanta’s Turner field.
Jimenez took 128 pitches to accomplish the feat, and was pushed all the way to the last, having to face Chippers Jones and Brian McCann in the bottom of the ninth.
The 26-year-old got Brian McCann on a simple groundout to second to end the game. Earlier in the game, he had to rely on a much tougher play from one of his team-mates to keep the feat intact.
In shades of the play DeWayne Wise made to preserve Mark Buehrle’s perfect game last July, centre-fielder Dexter Fowler made a spectacular diving play to rob Troy Glaus of a hit in the bottom of the seventh.
What was perhaps most remarkable about the performance was the demonstration of Jimenez’s arm strength and durability. He struggled with his control somewhat early on, walking six batters, as his fastball touched 100mph on occasion. However he settled down, and even into the ninth that heater was still reaching 98mph.
The achievement now leaves just three Major League teams without a no-hitter in their record books – the Rays, Padres and the New York Mets.
The Mets themselves were also involved in a noteworthy game on Saturday night, beating the Cardinals 2-1 in a game spanning almost seven hours, and 20 innings.
Neither team scored a run until the 19th inning, using 19 pitchers between them, including two position players taking to the mound for the Cards. One of them – Joe Mather, who had not pitched competitively since high school – took the loss, as Francisco Rodriguez picked up the win after blowing a save in the bottom of the 19th.
After Jeff Francouer put the Mets ahead in the top of the frame, scoring Jose Reyes on a sacrifice fly, Rodriguez came out to pitch the bottom half. He walked Ryan Ludwick, who was subsequently thrown out trying to steal second base. This proved to be a big tactical error, as Albert Pujols ripped a double, which would probably have scored Ludwick anyway.
Pujols eventually came around to score on a Molina single to tie the game at 1-1. After scoring in the previous frame, Reyes put the Mets back into the lead with a sac fly of his own to score Angel Pagan. Mike Pelfry, usually found starting games, picked up the first save of his career.
Finally, the ever-impressive Tim Lincecum had yet another game to remember of his short career, as the Giants defeated the Dodgers 9-0. Lincecum pitched 6 scoreless innings, but was equally impressive with the bat, notching three hits, and three RBIs. So far this season, Lincecum has hit more RBIs than he has given up earned runs, with a minuscule 0.90 ERA.