Colorado Rockies

Ubaldo Jimenez: Colorado Rockies Finally Have Cy Young Caliber Pitcher

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 09:  Ubaldo Jimenez #38 of the Colorado Rockies pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second inning at Dodger Stadium on May 9, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Zeke FuhrmanAnalyst IIIMay 31, 2010

Nine of the last 11 NL Cy Young winners have come from the NL West. But none of them have worn a Rockies uniform.

That could soon change for the emerging Ubaldo Jimenez and the Colorado Rockies.

After watching Randy Johnson, Brandon Webb, Jake Peavy, Eric Gagne and Tim Lincecum (who were a combined 15-7 with a 2.67 ERA vs the Rockies during their respective Cy Young campaigns) dominate the NL West for each of Colorado's division rivals, it may finally be Colorado's turn to run into the spotlight.

Jimenez, 26, is off to one of the best starts in MLB history: 9-1 with an 0.88 ERA, which includes a no-hitter in Atlanta last April.

Despite Jimenez' torrid start, the Rockies are 26-24 and in fourth place in the NL West.

However, team record doesn't matter when it comes to Cy Young awards.

Of the past 11 NL Cy Young winners, only four made the playoffs.

Even last season, Zack Greinke won the AL Cy Young, despite his Kansas City Royals finishing 65-97.

In an organization in which many pitching records are held by Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis, and Pedro Astacio, Jimenez has the chance to not only set Rockies club records, but also MLB records.

Jimenez is on pace to win 29 games, give up only 28 earned runs and three homeruns, and could push winning 30 games.

Baseball hasn't seen a 30 game winner since Denny McLain won 31 games for the Detroit Tigers in 1968. There hasn't been an NL 30-game winner since Dizzy Dean in 1934.

The modern-era ERA record for a full-time starter is 1.12 set by Bob Gibson in 1968. Through his first ten starts in 1968, Gibson was 3-5 with a 1.52 ERA.

This afternoon, Jimenez and the Rockies face two-time defending Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants.

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