The 1968 season pitched by St. Louis Cardinal's ace Bob Gibson (22-9 , 1.12 ERA, 268 strikeouts, 0.853 WHIP, Cy Young, and MVP) is the standard of supremacy that every pitcher aspires to match. (Where was Gibson's run support that caused him to lose nine games with that earned run average?!?! )
Since Gibson's remarkable season forty-two years ago, Major League Baseball has seen superb seasons by Dwight Gooden (1985 —1.51 ERA), Greg Maddux (1994 —1.56 ERA, 1995 —1.63 ERA), Nolan Ryan (1981 —1.69 ERA), and Pedro Martinez (2000 —1.74 ERA), but in the "power" era of baseball, no hurler has matched the historic precedent set by Gibson.
And yet, through fifty games in the 2010 baseball season, we have NEVER seen a pitcher display the dominance that Colorado Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez has shown in eleven starts.
This season, Jimenez, the front runner for the Cy Young award in the National League, has already thrown a no-hitter (the first in Rockies history), won NL pitcher of the month for April and May, and is the third player in Major League Baseball history to win ten of his first eleven games, while having an ERA under 1.00.
Somehow Jimenez and his 10-1 record, 70 strikeouts, 0.90 WHIP, and sparkling 0.78 ERA have flown under the radar from significant baseball press coverage.
We have been so caught up in the hype of Stephen Strasburg (whose Triple A starts have garnered more attention than Jimenez's Major League outings), the perfect games by Roy Halladay and Dallas Braden , and the controversial one-hitter by Armando Galarraga that we have overlooked the consistent ungodly numbers that Jimenez has put together so far.
Last season , the 26 year-old from the Dominican Republic, showed he had the stuff to be an elite pitcher in the majors when he posted 15 wins, 198 strikeouts, and a 3.47 ERA in his second full season with the Rockies.
However, if you told a Rockies fan on Opening Day what his current season statistics would be, they would say you went on the free Coors Tour one too many times.
More amazing than the way Jimenez has pitched, is where he has pitched.
At Coors Field , where the altitude is known to turn the effects of three beers into that of five, and ERAs from 3.00 to 5.00, Jimenez is 4-0 with a 1.29 ERA.
Today, the Rockies will face the Diamondbacks in Arizona with the thrilling Jimenez (he often hits 100 MPH on the radar) on the mound.
While most of the baseball nation counts down to Strasburg's debut on Tuesday, on Sunday we will overlook a 6-1 road record and 0.52 ERA from somebody that is ALREADY special and in the early stages of a historical season unmatched by even Bob Gibson.