Tagged: Ubaldo Jimenez

Baltimore Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez at his best in September

Odds are that yesterday’s win was too little too late for the Baltimore Orioles to end up in the post season. However as much as Ubaldo Jimenez has been maligned over his four years with the O’s, he was always at his best in September. Yesterday was no exception. Jimenez’s line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 K.

Jimenez of course started (and got the win) in the 2014 AL East-clinching game. He was also the Orioles’ best pitcher for the last five weeks of the season last year, which in essence put the Orioles in the playoffs. So yes while there were times when he looked lost out on the mound (which unfortunately is what most fans are going to remember about him), he generally rose to the occasion late in the season when the pressure was on.

Austin Hays continued his baptism into the major leagues with an RBI-single in the second inning, giving the Birds a 1-0 lead. However it wasn’t long before NY tied it – in the bottom of that second inning on a solo homer by Gregorius. But going back to Hays for a moment, it’ll be interesting to see how things play out with him next year. He seems to be following the path the Orioles took last year with Mancini in that he was a September call-up, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he gets a long look in spring training next year. Does he make the team? Time will tell, but the early returns are positive.

The O’s got the lead back in the fourth inning on Tim Beckham‘s three-run homer. And speaking of the future, the Orioles may have very quietly found their new shortstop in Beckham. It’s a shame that it comes at the expense of a guy like Hardy, however he’d be the first one to tell you that his body is starting to wear down. Needless to say, it’ll be an interesting off season for him (Hardy).

The Orioles would tack on one more, but New York would also threaten before the game was over. Holliday’s RBI-double in the sixth cut the lead to 6-3, and the semblance of a New York-comeback was in the air. But for the most part the Birds shut them down. Castro would add a sac fly-RBI, however New York never got closer than 6-4. And the O’s went home salvaging one game of four in this series.

It goes without saying that Ubaldo Jimenez is probably in the waning days of his tenure with the Orioles. However if that’s true at the very least he’s finishing strong. I always remind people that when the Orioles signed him, all of the experts both locally and nationally thought it was a great move and a great deal with the O’s. Certainly it didn’t work out the way anyone thought it would. But needless to say, when the Orioles needed a clutch win late in the year, Jimenez generally came through.

The Birds will open the final home stand of the season tonight at Camden Yards when Boston comes to town. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Doug Fister. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.


Baltimore Orioles: Season on the brink

The Baltimore Orioles need to get it together quickly if they aren’t going to quietly slip out of contention for what’s left of the season. Last night Ubaldo Jimenez probably pitched well enough to put the O’s in a spot to win. However Jimenez was eventually let down by the defense behind him, of all things. Jimenez’s line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K.

Toronto took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI-groundout by Goins. However while that went as an earned run, in reality it shouldn’t have been. Previous to that Hernandez had smacked a double, however he advanced to third on a Mark Trumbo error. All things being the same, that’s a run that probably wouldn’t have scored.

Urena’s RBI-double scored Barney later in the inning to give Toronto a 2-0 lead. Now while that run would have scored anyways, Barney had gotten aboard with a double but took third on an Adam Jones error. So again in fairness to Jimenez, those are two runs that came about as a direct result of errors.

Jones atoned for his mistake in the fourth inning with an RBI-double which cut the lead to 2-1. However opposing teams know that the Orioles have to be pushing at this point trying to stay in the race. And they’re using that edge against them. Goins certainly did when he smacked a solo homer against Jimenez in the last of the fourth, giving Toronto a 3-1 lead. But then again one inning later, Trumbo countered back with a solo homer of his own.

But when things aren’t going your way (as they aren’t for the O’s right now), the breaks go to the other side – always. Hernandez managed to get aboard with an infield single in the last of the sixth following a HBP. With Machado guarding the line, Hernandez provided a swinging bunt. It was smart of Machado to guard the line. However had he done the wrong thing and played in, that would have been at least one out. Barney later hit an infield single of his own, which scored a run and ran the score to 4-2.

The O’s managed to get one more back on Mancini’s RBI-single in the seventh, but that was all she wrote. As I said, the Birds need to get themselves back on track, and quick. The will to do it is definitely there, and neither that nor the effort should never be questioned. However I think there are some very tired bats in the lineup right now; bats that have noble intentions to do good mind you, but bats that are just tired.

The series continues tonight at Rogers Center. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Joe Biagini. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Take what’s yours or someone else will make it theirs

The Baltimore Orioles have struggled with the same issue for most of the season. No, not pitching, hitting, or any other on the field issue. The biggest issue they’ve had is stepping up and taking what’s rightfully theirs. Whether it’s a game, a series, or anything else. And if you don’t take what’s yours, it’ll eventually cease to belong to you.

Ubaldo Jimenez got banged around a bit in the first inning yesterday, and in fact ended up setting the tone for the game. Jimenez’s line: 5.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 4 K. Jimenez gave up a two-run homer to Lowrie and then a solo shot to Healy in the first inning. Healey would also add a two-run homer in the fifth, and the Birds trailed 5-0.

They got back into it in the last of that fifth inning however, when Manny Machado smacked a two-run homer. Jonathan Schoop would also add on a two-RBI single in the eighth to bring the Birds to within one. The O’s ended up allowing Oakland out of the inning with the lead however, as they were unable to put a final run across to tie the game.

And Oakland took advantage of that. Davis’ solo homer in the top of the ninth all but iced the game. However the O’s did have the tying run at the plate at one point in the last of the ninth. But they allowed Oakland to pitch out of it, dropping this one 6-4.

Make no mistake that the Orioles attempted a valiant comeback in this game. However they’re a much better team than Oakland is (on paper). Heck, they’re a better team than a lot of the teams ahead of them in the standings – again, on paper. So…why have they struggled all year to keep their heads above water?

Because as I said earlier, if you don’t stand up and forcibly take what’s yours, it’ll cease to be yours. There’s always someone else waiting in the wings who’s hungry and audacious enough to step in and make what’s rightfully yours into what’s theirs. And that’s what happened to the 2017 Orioles. Teams who in theory shouldn’t even be in competition with the Birds have actually been hungrier – and they’ve found ways to get ahead.

Here’s a real life example – and this is a true story. A close friend of mine is established in his/her job, and is good at it. An intern came in and literally started acting like s/he owned the place – demanding respect, and in essence asking for top billing as a member of the department. My friend started seeing his/her own experience used against them in the sense that the intern was using my friend’s stories in the field as their own.

I immediately told my friend that this person was gunning for their job. And my advice was to step up and make it very clear that this person was just an intern and couldn’t get top billing in the department. Luckily for my friend, s/he listened to me and did just that. When the intern was confronted, s/he admitted that s/he was hoping that my friend would quit and s/he’d get hired. Said intern has since left the country for another job. Funny thing was, this ticked my friend off so much that s/he did at one point consider quitting. The intern almost succeeded.

That obviously has nothing to do with baseball. But it illustrates that this is a dog-eat-dog world. It’s unfair and it’s wrong; but sometimes what’s rightfully yours comes under attack. And if you just “ho-hum it along,” you’re going to lose what’s yours. Challengers are always hungrier – think of the 2012 Orioles.

So if the Birds want to have a shot at the postseason, they need to stop dropping games like this to teams such as Oakland. There’s no reason they should have split that series out on the west coast, and there’s no reason they should have lost last night. As I said, take and defend what’s yours, or someone else will.

The series concludes this afternoon at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Daniel Gossett of Oakland. Game time is set for just after 3 PM.

Baltimore Orioles blow late lead in Oakland

Ubaldo Jimenez has been steadily better of late than he was in the first half of the season. Last night he came within two outs of a quality start, but still looked decent in doing so. Jimenez’s line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 11 K. Yes you read that correctly; 11 strikeouts.

However the Orioles’ bullpen couldn’t hold onto a late lead, with Brad Brach allowing Oakland to come back in the eighth inning on his watch. The Birds took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Adam Jones smacked his second homer in as many games. This one obviously was of the solo variety, but it put the Orioles on the right track. Two innings later Jones would ground into a double-play, which also yielded a run and gave the O’s a 2-0 lead.

But in the bottom of that inning Oakland fought back. Davis’ RBI-double cut the lead to 2-1. Later in the inning Olson’s two-run home run gave Oakland the lead at 3-2. But the Birds weren’t out of it – yet. Schoop’s two-RBI double in the fifth gave them the lead back at 4-3.

Oakland may be in full rebuild mode, but they’re scrappy none the less. An RBI-double in the last of the eighth tied the score back up at four, and Oakland would later take a 5-4 lead (which turned into a 5-4 win) on a sac fly-RBI. All of this off of the aforementioned Brach, who took the loss and the blown save.

These types of games will happen, but they really hit home when you’re a team like the Orioles who are trying to get back into the race. The Birds now sit two games out of the final wild card spot. However there are several teams ahead of them as well, which makes it tougher. Buck Showalter admitted afterwards that while it wasn’t Brach’s night, all games are the sum of the parts (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):

There’s a lot more to the game than that, but I know everyone’s focus is there. Brad has been great for us, but tonight just wasn’t his night. A couple balls elevated and command was a little off, but so was Mychal (Givens) a little bit.

The O’s will try to get back on track in the series this evening. Dylan Bundy will head to the mound for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Sean Manaea. Game time is set for just after 9 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez with a gem in walk off win

You aren’t going to see Ubaldo Jimenez pitch better than he did for the Baltimore Orioles last night. You just aren’t. This was the second consecutive start in which the Orioles’ beleaguered right hander put the Birds in a spot to win. The difference is that this time around he didn’t end up a hard-luck loser. Jimenez’s line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K.

Few people would have thought that the Orioles would have gotten into a pitcher’s duel with Jimenez on the mound against Kansas City – and won. Admittedly, the game started somwhat inauspicious for the O’s. Jimenez allowed a base runner early, and Hosmer’s RBI-double gave Kansas City a 1-0 lead in the first. However Jimenez pitched out of it, and mimized the damage to just that one run.

Other than that, Jimenez was flawless. While it’s understandable that some fans wanted him DFA’d long ago, it’s also worth throwing in that last night wouldn’t have been possible without Jimenez. The Orioles still would have paid him for last night’s game, but he wouldn’t have been playing. And the effort the team got out of him last night wouldn’t have happened.

That 1-0 for Kansas City stood up until the last of the fifth when Jonathan Schoop‘s RBI-single tied the game up. And on we played. In fairness, Kansas City’s pitching was equally as good. This is an Orioles team that put up ten runs in Texas on Sunday. For the most part they were stymied last night.

With the game tied at one in the last of the ninth and Joseph on first, Ruben Tejada broke an 0-for-19 string with a base hit. It also sent the winnin run to second base in the form of Joseph. But could the Orioles close it out with the bottom of the order up?

You can’t look at it that way in that situation. You have to look at it from the perspective of all you need is a base hit. And luckily for the O’s, Craig Gentry came through. His RBI-single up the middle scored Joseph and walked the Orioles off winners, 2-1. The victory brought them within three games of .500, and started the home stand off right.

The Orioles’ bullpen was used a bit more than they would have liked on Sunday, and the effort that Jimenez gave the team last night really freshened up a few arms in the ‘pen. It’s just a shame that he couldn’t get the win, which instead went to closer Zach Britton. But them’s the breaks. The O’s were only in a spot to win the game because of Ubaldo Jimenez’s effort to begin with.

The series continues this evening at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Ian Kennedy. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles waste Ubaldo Jimenez’s quality start

Ubaldo Jimenez gave the Baltimore Orioles a quality start yesterday afternoon in Tampa. Yet he ended up what they all a hard luck loser. That’s a situation in which Jimenez hasn’t found himself often, but it happened yesterday. In essence, Jimenez threw a couple of bad pitches, and lost the game. Jimenez’s line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 9 K.

The nine strikeouts is really impressive. And in fact, Jimenez was incredibly crisp out on the mound yesterday. And that wasn’t lost on manager Buck Showalter (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

Ubaldo did his part, too. That was impressive. Got off to a little bit of a rocky start. He was 3-2 on the first, it seemed like, four or five hitters, and all of a sudden really was able to use his pitches. Played good defense behind him, too.

The Orioles took the lead in the game in the fourth inning on a homer by Schoop. But that only lasted for two innings, as Longoria smacked a two-run shot in the sixth. And that came on a pitch that split the plate, and Longoria jumped on it. Souza would add a solo homer in the seventh, which was the last run Jimenez gave up.

Tampa would also add on an RBI-single by Morrison in the eighth, and they’d score again later in the inning when Souza grounded into a force out which yielded a run. But with the exception of the Schoop homer, Oriole bats remained silent on this day. And that’s sad because they wasted an incredible outing by the constantly beleaguered Ubaldo Jimenez.

All you have to do is look at his stat line and see nine strikeouts to know that Jimenez was dealing yesterday. And it’s really a shame that as well as he pitched, the bats couldn’t propel him to victory. Hopefully for his sake he has a better fate next time out.

After the very early game, the fact that the trade market on the likes of Zach Britton hasn’t developed as the Orioles expected. Translated, this means that teams feel the Orioles are asking too much. Buck Showalter has said on numerous occasions that they aren’t ever going to allow other teams to de-value their players.

I’ve said this before, but there’s a mentality out there amongst a lot of people which says just get whatever you can for [insert player name]. That’s an incredibly dangerous way of looking at trades, because if the Orioles made it known that they’d expect nothing more than a single-A prospect for Britton, do we think that the market would continue to be slow?

Am I suggesting that the Orioles continue to play hardball? Yes, I am. Their attitude should be if you want our player(s) you’re going to pay our price. In the mean time, the Birds have an off day today in Texas. For their sake, I hope they use it wisely!

Baltimore Orioles almost able to come back

Ubaldo Jimenez was unable to keep the Baltimore Orioles in last night’s game early on. However I will say that he probably pitched better than his stat line indicates. He threw strike one to 12 of the first 15 hitters. But the fact is that he wasn’t as crisp as he needed to be. Jimenez’s line: 5.1 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 5 K.

Jimenez surrendered a run almost right off the bat on Beltran’s RBI-single. However just a moment later Gurriel’s two-run homer made the score 3-0. And part of why I say that Jimenez wasn’t as bad as advertised was that one of the base hits that led to that homer was a softly hit single. When you’re barely putting the bat on the ball and still succeeding, that’s called getting lucky.

Houston would add an RBI-triple in the second, and Altuve would ground out into another run. And thus while the crowd still was filing in, the O’s trailed 2-0. But they did get a run back an inning later on a Schoop RBI-single, although Houston immediately got that run back on a McCann solo homer. Before all was said and done, Houston led 8-1.

But the Orioles made an incredibly valiant, albeit very late comeback attempt. Trumbo’s RBI-single in the eighth cut the lead to 8-2. Jones would follow with a two-RBI double, and Schoop a three-run homer. Before we knew it, the Birds only trailed 8-7.

But that’s as close as they got. And once again, it highlights the need for starting pitching. Granted Jimenez didn’t give up eight runs. However he set the tone. And that’s what starting pitching is all about.

And keep in mind that this game ended up a one-run game. In one of the RBI plays Houston turned in above, Rickard dove for a ball in the outfield. The ball got by him (under his glove), and went all the way to the wall. It was a valiant effort by Rickard, however an extra run scored.

All things being equal, the game would have been tied. And it’s little things like that which are valued immensely by a team like Houston. The Orioles don’t look at one run as being any sort of a big deal, because of their power – which we saw at the end of the game last night. But Houston treats every single run as a precious commodity.

The series continues tonight at Camden Yards. Chris Tillman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Houston’s Collin McHugh. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.