A lot of starting pitchers, especially in the first few years of their career, have trouble being consistent with their release and their pitches. That leads to inconsistency in their results. That’s the case for Cleveland Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez has shown potential but has also shown the ability to get shelled for several runs per start. The rollercoaster year continued in a good way against the Tampa Bay Rays as he pitched eight scoreless innings. The Tribe surely hopes that he can capture that magic three out of four starts from here on out.
The trend actually looks good for Jimenez as he has given up two or fewer runs in six of his last seven starts. Sandwiched in there is an outing against the powerful Detroit Tigers where he gave up six runs. Obviously he is headed in the correct direction and this win against the Rays proves it. Don’t think this was like an easy toss game either. The Rays have played really well lately and have pulled to within a couple of games of the AL East lead. For the Indians and Jimenez this certainly is a big shutout win.
The Tribe can build on this as they head into the series finale and try to keep the pressure on the Tigers who are just barely ahead of them in the American League Central. Jimenez definitely should use this to build towards his growing momentum as the middle of the year approaches. To be sure the Indians are hitting their stride and have been for a while now. Jimenez is no small part of that. If he can harness this shut down pitching more often than not, six out of seven starts being two runs or less starts would work fine, the Indians might catch the Tigers and stay in front yet.