8:40 PM ET, July 19, 2011
Coors Field, Denver, Colorado
DENVER -- Ubaldo Jimenez sauntered off the mound and doffed his cap to the appreciative Coors Field crowd giving him an enthusiastic standing ovation.
Was this goodbye?
If so, the powerful right-hander gave Colorado general manager Dan O'Dowd and the Rockies faithful a taste of what they'd be missing if he's indeed traded this month.
You Can Bet On Ubaldo
While Ubaldo Jimenez's ERA has fluctuated, a look at his strikeout rate and walk rate show he's quite consistent. ESPN Stats & Info Blog
Jimenez (6-8) won for the fifth time in his last six decisions, allowing two runs and seven hits over 6 2/3 innings. The only blemishes were the two homers he served up to Dan Uggla. Jimenez struck out nine and walked two before soaking in the cheers from fans hoping he stays in purple pinstripes for countless more nights like this one.
Jimenez hopes so, too.
"This is the team that I've always been on. I love this team," he said.
Would he tell that to O'Dowd?
"I think he already knows," Jimenez said. "But like I said before, they are going to do anything that is good for the team."
With so many holes on his roster, O'Dowd has said he'll listen to all offers but will have to be overwhelmed to part with his ace, who is signed for the next three years at just under $18 million.
After dealing with the speculation swirling around him and questions from concerned fans cluttering up his Facebook page for the last week, Jimenez was able to clear from his mind for a few hours the unthinkable notion that he could be dealt just a year after starting the All-Star Game.
"Once I cross the line, I'm just thinking about getting the hitters out," Jimenez said. "It doesn't matter how many things I hear, I'm just trying to focus on the hitter, go after the hitter. And probably after the game, I'm going to keep listening to things. But that's a good time to listen, after the game."
Jimenez isn't scheduled to start at home again until after the July 31 trade deadline, which he's praying comes and goes without him having to pack his bags.
"I'm just going to keep doing my thing, working hard, just showing up to the stadium. Whatever happens is going to happen," he said.
Jimenez has rebounded from a slow start caused in part by nagging thumb and hip injuries, but the Rockies have underperformed all season, never reaching the heights they expected behind the Big Three O's -- Ubaldo, Tulo and CarGo.
This night was the exception for Jimenez and the scuffling sluggers.
Tulowitzki and Gonzalez staked Jimenez to an early cushion with home runs off rookie righty Brandon Beachy (3-2), who couldn't find the necessary sink on his pitches to succeed at Coors Field.
Beachy allowed six earned runs and nine hits while struggling through 4 2/3 innings.
"He had trouble getting the breaking ball to break," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "You do that to pretty good hitters and get the ball up in the strike zone, you're going to get those home runs."
Heeding his manager's advice to be more patient at the plate, Tulowitzki sent a full-count offering into the left-field seats for his 18th homer, a three-run shot, in the first. Gonzalez connected on No. 14 in the second inning, a two-run, no-doubt shot to the second deck in right field.
It was the first win for Colorado in six tries against the Braves this month, and for once Atlanta rookie Freddie Freeman didn't do any damage at the plate.
Freeman entered the game 10 for 19 against the Rockies after clubbing five homers and knocking in 10 runs against them. He was hitless in three at-bats against Jimenez, striking out twice, including a called third strike that stranded two runners in the third.
Seth Smith, who drove in three runs, doubled home Tulowitzki, who narrowly missed his second homer, in the third to make it 6-0.
The big innings seemed to poach Jimenez's momentum on the mound as he gave up Uggla's first homer leading off the fourth. Jimenez struck out six of the next eight batters until serving up Uggla's 17th homer that made it 6-2 in the sixth.
NOTES: Uggla extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He has 12 multihomer games in his career. ... Broadcaster Jerry Schemmel of the Rockies' flagship radio station KOA biked 112 miles Tuesday in memory of the lives lost on United Flight 232 from Denver to Chicago in 1989. Schemmel is a survivor of that crash.
DENVER, CO - JULY 19: The grounds crew remove the tarp following a rain delay prior to the game between the...
Regular Season Series
|Atlanta leads 6-2 (as of Tue 7/19)|
|Mon 7/4||@ATL 4, COL 1||Recap|
|Tue 7/5||@ATL 5, COL 3||Recap|
|Wed 7/6||@ATL 9, COL 1||Recap|
|Thu 7/7||@ATL 6, COL 3||Recap|
|Mon 7/18||ATL 7, @COL 4||Recap|
|» Tue 7/19||@COL 12, ATL 3||Box Score|
|Wed 7/20||@COL 3, ATL 2||Recap|
|Thu 7/21||ATL 9, @COL 6||Recap|
|Complete Schedule: Braves | Rockies|
|1st||T Tulowitzki homered to left (402 feet), C Gonzalez and T Helton scored.||0||3|
|2nd||C Gonzalez homered to right (391 feet), D Fowler scored.||0||5|
|3rd||S Smith doubled to right center, T Tulowitzki scored.||0||6|
|4th||D Uggla homered to left (416 feet).||1||6|
|6th||D Uggla homered to center (431 feet).||2||6|
|6th||S Smith tripled to deep center, T Helton scored.||2||7|
|6th||D Fowler tripled to deep center, S Smith, I Stewart and C Iannetta scored.||2||10|
|7th||S Smith hit sacrifice fly to center, T Helton scored.||2||11|
|7th||C Iannetta doubled to deep right, T Tulowitzki scored.||2||12|
|8th||E Hinske grounded out to second, B McCann scored, F Freeman to third.||3||12|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Coors Field, Denver, CO|
|Attendance||36,460 (72.3% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||70 degrees, overcast|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Angel Campos, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Joe West|
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