It would come to this, wouldn’t it?
The Rockies released Felipe Paulino early in the season after he gave up the winning run, walk off style, in what seemed like three games in a row. Since the release Paulino has a 3.91 ERA in just under 90 innings pitched with the Kansas City Royals going into tonight’s game. What’s worse is that he has 78 punch-outs versus only 29 unintentional walks.
As for Ubaldo Jimenez, that topic has been beaten to death but since joining the Indians Ubaldo has a 7.29 ERA in four starts. Right now Dan O’Dowd is looking like a genius.
Oh, and Jim Thome is also making his first appearance with the Indians since 2002 in this game. Here is my running blog on the game.
5:10: Ubaldo gives up a single to Melky Cabrera but strikes out two and pitches a clean first inning.
5:15: Paulino one-ups Jimenez by going 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first inning.
5:25: Ubaldo hits 94 mph on the radar gun. He hasn’t had that consistent 98+ this season. In the past two seasons he had led all of baseball among starting pitchers with the highest average fastball over the course of the season. That streak is coming to an abrupt end.
5:30: Jim Thome makes his first appearance and he hits the ball about 36 inches and it rolls down the first base line about five feet before Paulino picks it up and throws on Thome at first.
5:35: Jimenez gets Alex Gordon looking for the second time in the first three innings. This time on a Jimenez special: that two-seamer that not only breaks down but breaks away from a lefty. Ubaldo just barely hit the bottom inside corner of the zone. If there is a pitch that cannot be hit it is that pitch.
5:40: Jimenez breezes through the third inning with two strikeouts, a walk and a shallow fly out to center field. If that Jimenez could throw every inning like that every time he takes the mound the Rockies will really regret the trade. But that is the problem; that version of Jimenez has not been around much in 2011.
5:45: Already three innings in the books and right now anyone who roots for the Rockies wishes that either of these guys would take the mound on Tuesday instead of Aaron Cook. Paulino has thrown 30 pitches and only allowed one hit and one walk. Ubaldo has 47 tosses with three hits, one walk and five strikeouts.
5:47: Aaaaand…there it is. Eric Hosmer, prize of the Royals farm system coming into 2011, breaks the scoreless tie by hitting a deep home run off of Jimenez to put the Royals up 1-0. The increased frequency of home runs allowed is what has killed Ubaldo in 2011.
5:58: Ubaldo barely gets out of the inning alive. If there is a place to send videos to the commissioner’s office to get the “team error” made official we have the perfect example in this half inning. With a runner on first and one out Ubaldo gets the batter to scorch a grounder to third. The third baseman throws to second for the force but the second baseman comes off of the bag and the runner is safe. The next batter singles followed by a pop out which should end the inning if not for the defensive miscue by the Indians. Ubaldo ends up getting Gordon to weakly lineout/pop out to short to end the inning officially. Royals strike first and the score is 1-0. Ubaldo just looks miserable, lost and/or confused on the mound. For a guy who rarely shows emotion on the mound I almost feel bad for Ubaldo watching him walk around the mound with that lost look on his face.
6:07: My son walked up to me and HOOO-EEEE someone pooped their pants. I missed Paulino’s half inning as I was changing a diaper but it doesn’t look like I missed much. While Ubaldo is laboring Paulino is cruising along.
6:10: Now the Rangers and Angels game is on MLBN. With the Rockies coming up later it is a night of baseball for this guy!
6:13: Five innings, seven hits and seven K’s for Ubaldo. He continues to mystify because it has taken him 84 pitches to get through five innings but those seven K’s have the Royals baffled. The seven hits has the Indians front office baffled.
6:16: Thome is the Indians all-time leader in home runs and walks (like Todd Helton with the Rockies) but this time he strikes out. Thome is 0-for-2 in his return to Cleveland.
6:20: Kosuke Fukudome reaches on a bloop single to right field and that ends a stretch of nine Indians retired in a row by Paulino. How does Fukudome hit anything? He has two feet out of the batter’s box before the pitch even gets to the plate. Not only did he get a hit but he PULLED to right field while bailing out of the box.
6:26: A few days ago Fukudome was thrown out at the plate to end the game against the Tigers and tonight he was thrown out at home by Gordon to end the fifth inning. Paulino struck out Thome and Carlos Santana looking but after the bloop hit by Fukudome. There were two seeing-eye singles through the left side, the second of which was fielded by Gordon and he gunned down Fukudome at the plate for the third out.
6:37: Angels/Rangers look-in: Vernon Wells has a .242 OBA. Alex Anthopoulos should eat free anywhere in Toronto.
6:41: Paulino is hitting 96 and 97 in the sixth inning. I haven’t seen Ubaldo throw faster than 94 yet tonight. That seems backwards. I know Paulino throws hard but Ubaldo was supposed to be the pitcher getting close to triple digits in the sixth inning.
6:43: Paulino: 6 IP (92 pitches), 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 runs. Ubaldo: 6 IP (93 pitches), 7 H, 1 BB, 8K, 1 run. Pretty evenly matched so far.
6:47: Gordon 0-for-4 against Ubaldo with 3 K’s. At least this time he swung at strike three.
6:49: 10 strikeouts for Ubaldo tonight. He is at 105 pitches and the Indians had activity in their bullpen. Will be interesting to see if Ubaldo comes out for the eighth because he has been dominant the last two innings.
6:53: Thome 0-for-3 with three K’s.
6:55: With each successive strikeout and even every out made I dread the next outing by Cook for the Rockies. I even dread watching Esmil Rogers tonight.
7:00: Third base hit of the inning and the Indians get a run with two outs in the inning to tie the game. 116 pitches for Paulino.
7:03: After loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh with two outs Paulino gets the hook. The bases are juiced and the game is tied.
7:10: Tim Collins came in for the Royals and faced Ezequiel Cabrera and Cabrera won by drawing a walk. The run goes against Paulino and now Ubaldo is in line for the win.
7:13: Collins gets the next batter swinging (a guy with the first name of “Cord”…only in baseball…). Paulino finishes with 6 2/3 innings pitched (120 pitches) and two runs allowed on six hits and four walks. Paulino struck out six Indians and it looked like Ned Yost stuck with Paulino a little too long.
7:16: Ubaldo is also done. He lasted a full seven innings with one run allowed on seven hits and one walk but Ubaldo did strikeout 10. The Indians have a very good bullpen and it will be up to them to close out the final two Indians and get Ubaldo and the tribe the W.
7:27: Thome 0-for-4 but the Indians head into the top of the ninth with the 2-1 lead.
7:36: Indians win. Ubaldo “wins”.