Baseball Jeremiad

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A Curiously Intelligent Baseball blog

Ubaldo in the Spotlight, Harwell Tributes Abound

Ubaldo Jimenez leads the bigs in wins and ERA, and he’s now getting some attention from the New York Times. The article mentions that he was first scouted by the New York Mets, but they failed to land him.

Why? That story is explored more in today’s Denver Post, which has a Mother’s Day-themed story on Jimenez and his mom, who still fixes his lunch every day. The story describes how she and her husband wouldn’t allow Ubaldo to sign with the Mets until he finished school, and that only when the Rockies promised to let him finish and to pay for his medical school bills if he didn’t make it in baseball did they let him sign.

I wonder how Jersey Matt feels about that…

It’s hard to turn on the internets today and not see tributes to the late Ernie Harwell, the long time radio voice of the Detroit Tigers. Unsurprisingly, the two best are penned by Mitch Albom and Joe Posnanski. Posnanski links to the video below, which is certainly worth a couple minutes.

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Good seats, good pitching

This is what $30 gets you in the park of a team that is not yet loved by its city, hosting an unpopular visiting team during a day game on a Thursday following a rainy, dreary Wednesday.

Rockies @ Nationals, Nationals Park, 4/22/10

To answer my own trivia question from last night: the last time two pitchers faced each other when in their previous games they had each thrown a complete game shutout and one of those shutouts was a no-hitter – 90 years ago.  I don’t remember where I saw it, but I did.  Look it up.

The pitchers didn’t disappoint.  Jimenez got the (not curly) W on the strength of 7.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 121 pitches.  Livan went 8, 4 H, 2 R (on two solo HRs), 2 BB, 5 K.

Observations: Ubaldo looks like an athlete.  He’s 6’4”, 210 lbs., so a little on the lean side, but definitely an athlete.  And boy he can throw hard.  He left some Nats looking pretty baffled.  Very nice outing.  I think he’s now on my list of guys I will go out of my way to watch.

Livan makes me laugh.  This season he’ll easily pass 2800 career innings pitched and he looks like he could throw another 2000.  His arm is just made of rubber.  The highlights of the day for me were when Livan dropped in his slow breaking stuff.  He’d be cruising along throwing 80s, sometimes hitting mid to high 80s, and suddenly he would toss a 64 mph breaking ball.  Every hitter was miles ahead of those and I literally cackled every time.  It was comical.  If you watch this video you’ll see one slow ball at the 12 second mark, and a much better one at the one minute mark that includes a great reaction by Troy Tulowitzki who can’t believe what just happened.

It’s also funny that the molasses-slow breaking stuff that fooled the hitters to badly is still faster than my fastest fastball.  Just barely, but still.

Svelte Livan

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Baseball Musings

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