Everyone seems to be excited about Ubaldo Jimenez' outing last night in Washington, giving hope that he's ready to have a superb second half. But in actual fact, Ubaldo has been back for a while now. He's been every bit as great as he was last year eveer since the first of June.
That was the day Jimenez shut out the Dodgers in Dodger Stadium. In his eight starts covering June and July, Ubaldo has a 2.52 ERA - which, you'll notice, is lower than his 2010 season ERA of 2.88, when he started the All-Star Game and was third in the Cy Young voting. In that stretch, he's struck out 50 and walked only 11 in 53 and 2/3 innings.
That excellence has been hidden by two things: First of all, he was so bad at the beginning of the year that it's taken a long time to bring his ERA down. It's now at 4.14, which looks pretty good for a Coors Field pitcher, but is far from excellent.
The other thing is that the Rockies continue not to score for him. The Rockies have scored three or fewer runs for Ubaldo in 10 of his 17 starts this year. That picks up the string from last year, when the Rox scored two or fewer runs for him in 8 of his 15 post All-Star game starts. That's the main reason he went 4-7 in the second half last year, and it's the main reason he's only 4-8 this year.