For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you may have heard of several words that I’ve coined/used throughout this season in regards to Ubaldo Jimenez. For instance, when a pitcher averages over 20 pitches an inning, I like to say that his efficiency is downright “Ubaldian.” Additionally, whenever Ubaldo would throw up one of his clunker starts, I’d casually refer to the right-hander as “Ughbaldo.”
As of right now, however, all of those terms are retired. Permanently. What the man has done since the All-Star Break has been nothing short of astounding. Let’s take just a second and break it down. Remember his 2010 season, when he started the All-Star Game and garnered Cy Young and All-Star votes? Here’s his stat line from that season:
19-8 W-L, 2.88 ERA, 6.2 IP per start, 8.7 K/9, 3.7 BB/9
Now, here’s Ubaldo’s stat line since the 2013 All-Star break (tonight’s stats not included):
4-5 W-L, 1.94 ERA, 6.1 IP per start, 10.2 K/9, 3.6 BB/9
In other words, the guy the Indians thought they were trading for in 2011? The guy we all thought was gone forever? He’s back, and quite possibly better than ever.
Tonight, in Chicago, Ubaldo was brilliant again, going 8.1 innings and allowing only one run (a garbage time run technically allowed by CC Lee after Ubaldo ran out of gas), and the Indians continued their mastery of the White Sox in 2013 by winning 8-1 over the completely listless and disinterested South Siders. At some point tonight, while Ubaldo was making quick work of the White Sox, the STO booth (and I think all of the Indians fans watching) realized that if the Indians make the playoffs, it very well might be Ubaldo Jimenez on the mound in game 1.
Even more shocking than that realization has to be the realization that we’d all probably be okay with that scenario, too.
A lot of credit has to go to Mickey Callaway, but that is another post for another time.
In Other News:
-Aside from Ubaldo, the offense continued to hit well against a bad team. Lonnie Chisenhall has looked really good over the past two weeks, with an OPS over .800 and a BABIP of .250, suggesting he has been unlucky (if anything).
-I’m really sad Jose Ramirez can’t be on the postseason roster; his speed is a difference maker, and I hope he finds a nice role on the bench of this team going forward over the next few years. I don’t think he’ll ever hit tremendously at the big league level, but damn is he fun to watch when he’s on the bases.
-Paul Konerko should just retire. Right now. It’s painful watching him “run” and even worse to see him flail at pitches. He’s basically Jason Giambi at this point, but he plays every day to his team’s detriment. I just hope 2013 is not the way we remember Paulie, as he was a great part of a relatively fun rivalry throughout the first decade of this century.
-I wrote an article for another blog specifically about the AL Wild Card race. You can check that out here if you’re interested.
Good win tonight. If the Indians can take care of business tomorrow against Chris Sale and win two out of three in Kansas City, I have to imagine this team’s postseason odds will start to look more optimistic.