With Ubaldo Jimenez starting Tuesday, the Rockies will try sweep their two-game series with the Giants and move back into first place after winning 7-4 on Monday. A year ago, that would have seemed like a certainty with Jimenez on the mound. This season, it's more of a stretch.
The Rockies haven't won a game started by Jimenez since Sept. 17. The Rockies are winless in Jimenez's last nine starts, and he's 0-5 in that stretch. In six starts this season, Jimenez is 0-3 with a 6.67 ERA and 22 walks, 30 strikeouts and 25 hits allowed in 29 2/3 innings. Jimenez has thrown 573 pitches, or an average of 19.3 per inning.
Two of his starts have been against the Giants -- on April 19 at Coors Field when the Giants won 6-3 and May 6 at AT&T Park when the Giants won 4-3 -- and in those games Jimenez is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA (11 innings, five earned runs) and eight hits allowed, seven walks and 13 strikeouts.
The Rockies insist there is nothing wrong physically with Jimenez, who was slowed in spring training and then at the start of the season with a cut on his right thumb cuticle and whose velocity is down from last year.
"I continue to be adamant with you guys (reporters) that it's not a physical thing," manager Jim Tracy said. "I really firmly believe that. I'm sitting here telling you the same thing. It's more of a mechanical thing."
Needless to say, pitching coach Bob Apodaca has poured over video in a quest to get the Rockies' erstwhile ace back on course.
"We're dealing with a lot of his posture as he's over the rubber and when he separates and takes the ball from his glove," Tracy said. "He's out of sync just a little bit. ... We're still searching, no doubt about it."
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