It’s time to accept Ubaldo for what he is, Tribe fans
At least that is the feeling among many Tribe fans after watching Jimenez give up five runs, seven hits and five walks in just 5.2 innings of work in Thursday’s loss to Tampa Bay.
But the reality is, this is the new normal for Jimenez, and the sooner Tribe fans accept it the better off they will be.
For every five-game stretch, like the one in June where he posted a 2.78 ERA in 32.1 innings of work (covering five starts), we are going to get a July stretch, where Jimenez has worked just 16 innings in four starts, posting a 7.31 ERA for the month. Before Thursday’s game against the Rays, Jimenez faced Toronto, lasting just 2.1 innings and giving up eight earned runs.
“I thought Ubaldo battled well for us,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “He gave us five innings for us to do something, to score runs, and we couldn’t do it. And in that (sixth) inning, it’s too bad, because he couldn’t come out of there with a very good outing.”
That’s a bit of an understatement.
A more telling quote is this one from Acta: “The bottom of the order was coming up, two outs, no one on base.”
He was referring, of course, to the bottom of the sixth inning. All Jimenez had to do was get one more out and the Tribe would head to the top of the seventh trailing 1-0.
Well, Jimenez hit Desmond Jennings (a .240 hitter) with a pitch; Jose Molina (batting .190) followed with a single and then Jimenez walked Sean Rodriguez (a .221 hitter). The next batter, B.J. Upton, cleared the bases with a double to give the Rays a 4-0 lead and pretty much close out the game, especially with David Price (13-4) on the mound
Jimenez is a .500 pitcher, really nothing more. He’s not the “No. 1 starter” the Tribe tried to convince the fans that he was when they traded for him at last year’s trading deadline. And he hasn’t been for some time.
After going 15-1 before the All-Star break in 2010, Jimenez has been 22-29 since then. It seems highly unlikely that anything is going to change, no matter how much the Tribe makes “adjustments” to his throwing motion, or gives him extra rest, or special exercises or whatever it is they have supposedly been doing with him for the past year.
Jimenez is what he is.
And that is disappointing enough for Tribe fans.
(Photo by The Associated Press)