Perhaps it is time to stop asking for more and just be happy with who Ubaldo Jimenez is right now as a pitcher. Jimenez took a no-hitter into the sixth inning Saturday night as the Indians beat Oakland 7-1 in front of a sellout crowd of 35067 at O.co Coliseum. The victory cut the A's lead in the race for the second wild card to three games over Baltimore and 3 1/2 over the Indians. The Tribe remained six games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central. Here's the thing about Jimenez (9-7 4.00). Yes he had a no-hitter with one out in the sixth but there was no way he was getting through the inning. Rich Hill was already warming in the bullpen when Jimenez hit Josh Reddick with a pitch. After Yoenis Cespedes walked Bryan Shaw joined him. With double-barrel action in the pen Jimenez struck out Brandon Moss. He was already at 104 pitches the count fattened by five walks and eight strikeouts. When Josh Donaldson sent Jimenez's first pitch into center field for an RBI single to make it a 3-1 game Jimenez was done for the night. "Right there in the sixth inning we're just trying to win a game" said manager Terry Francona when asked if it was difficult to take Jimenez out. Hill relieved Jimenez and struck out Chris Young to end the inning. If Jimenez had retired Donaldson for the third out pitch count or no pitch count he was going to fight to go back out for the seventh. "I was definitely thinking about the no-hitting in the sixth inning" said Jimenez. "It's something you realize right away because every runner I put on base was because I walked them or hit them." Jimenez knows what a no-hitter feels like. He threw one for the Rockies on April 17 2010 against Atlanta. Walk total? Six. "When I got through the fifth inning it brought back a lot of good memories from the no-hitter I had in Atlanta" said Jimenez. "Especially when I walked six guys." Jimenez allowed one run on one hit in 5 2/3 innings. He threw only 55 percent (58-for-105) of his pitches for strikes. "It is frustrating because you're thinking if I didn't have so many walks that's probably two or three more innings I would be able to pitch" said Jimenez. Jimenez is 2-0 against Oakland this year with a 2.38 ERA (three earned runs in 11 1/3 innings). He's struck out 16 walked eight and allowed five hits. The victory matched Jimenez's total from last year when he posted one of the worst seasons in the big leagues at 9-17 with a 5.40 ERA in 31 starts. Over his last 15 starts this season Jimenez is 6-4 with a 2.90 ERA while averaging 5.9 walks per nine innings. The Tribe's offense consisted of 11 hits including homers by Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher a slump-busting RBI single by Asdrubal Cabrera and four doubles.
Jimenez flirts with no-no as Indians power past A's, 7-1
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Aug 18