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Mutual respect

Apr 23, 2010, 12:48 AM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez had his way with the Nationals this afternoon.

Livan Hernandez first saw Ubaldo Jimenez pitch late in 2008, during his brief stint with the Rockies, and immediately sensed greatness out of the young right-hander with the cannon arm.

"He's got the stuff to win 20 games every year," said Hernandez, who wound up on the wrong end of a 2-0 pitchers' duel today. "If he continues to pitch like that, he's going to win maybe the Cy Young."

If they voted on such things right now, Jimenez would certainly have a strong case for the award. With his latest gem this evening against the Nationals — 7 1/3 innings of shutout ball — he improved to 4-0 with an 0.95 ERA. Tough to do much better than that, though Roy Halladay actually has (4-0, 0.82, 28 strikeouts, three walks).

Halladay, of course, has been regarded as one of baseball's best aces for a while now. Jimenez has only burst into the mainstream consciousness since his no-hitter in Atlanta five nights ago. Perhaps now everyone else will appreciate just how good this 26-year-old hurler is.

The Nats were plenty impressed with Jimenez, even before he toed the rubber today, but certainly even more after being turned into roadkill by the guy with the 100-mph sinking fastball and an array of offspeed pitches.

"When a guy's throwing like that, you've got to jump on one you like and hope, I guess," said Ian Desmond, who hit two broken-bat comebackers today. "One hundred with sink is not easy to hit, forRead more ยป

  1. phil dunn - Apr 23, 2010 at 1:46 AM

    Adam Dunn has officially caught the Big Papi disease. He looks "done". At least the Nats didn't sign him to a long term conract. At the rate he is going, we won't even be able to foist him off on a contender at mid-season.

  2. Sofa - Apr 23, 2010 at 3:05 AM

    He didn't look good, that's certain. And 100 mph sinkers can't be much help toward getting out of a slump.

  3. Aeoliano - Apr 23, 2010 at 4:08 AM

    Would they put Willingham at first base?Bernadina appears to be pulling away from the pack offensively down in Syracuse. He is also a left-handed plus fielder anywhere in the outfield. Willie Harris has the third highest OPS on the club. Still … kind of wonder how long they will keep Taveres on the roster given that Bernadina continues to tear it up down in AAA. Since Maxwell, a righty, is already on the club? Further improving the club defensively with some potential offensive upside if both Bernadina and Maxwell (finally) prove they can hit in the majors?

  4. Tcostant - Apr 23, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    You read an article like this and you hope that Strusburg is the real deal. It so great to have that guy, who ever time he pitches the team feels like it will win the game.

  5. Anonymous - Apr 23, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    "Bernadina appears to be pulling away from the pack offensively down in Syracuse."i love baseball language – you can be in dc, call syracuse "down," and be correct.it's also the only place you can say "flied" (after you've turned 3 yrs old) and be correct, too.go nats

  6. natsfan1a - Apr 23, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    The language of baseball is one of the things I love most about it. The lexicon is so rich, I think both because of the length of games and the number of games played each year. You need creative ways to say the same thing over and over. :-)That was a fun game to watch (on tv), even if we did come up short in the end.

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