The Closer: Rocky Mountain High

He became the first pitcher in Rockies history to throw a no-hitter (April 17, 2010), but Ubaldo Jiménez continues to show why this season has been no fluke. In this edition of The Closer, we look at why Jiménez who went 31-28 in three previous seasons is off to a 9-1 start this season.

Why Ubaldo Jiménez won:

- He worked fast. The 3.5 pitches per plate appearance was his lowest average so far this season. 21 of 29 (72 percent) of his plate appearances went four pitches or fewer compared to the MLB average of 65 percent.

- He got the first batter of the inning out in six of the eight innings he pitched for 75 percent compared to the MLB average of 68.

- He was able to still get outs despite not having his best stuff. He had a higher percentage of balls hit into play and a lower percentage of swings and misses than he had all season, but nevertheless pitched eight scoreless innings.

Jiménez: 9-1 with a 0.88 ERA through first 10 starts

Ubaldo Jiménez pitched eight shutout innings and registered his ninth victory of the season in Colorado’s 7-3 victory over Arizona on Wednesday night. Jiménez is 9-1 with a 0.88 through his first 10 starts this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, since earned runs became an official statistic (1912 in NL and 1913 in AL) only three other pitchers have posted nine victories with an ERA below 1.00 through their first 10 starts of a season: Eddie Cicotte in 1919 (10-0, 0.84 ERA), Hoyt Wilhelm in 1959 (9-0, 0.83 ERA) and Juan Marichal in 1966 (9-0, 0.59 ERA).



Since ER became official stat (1912 NL, 1913 AL)

Jiménez also joins Zack Greinke and Hall-of-Famers Juan Marichal and Hoyt Wilhelm as the only pitchers with an ERA below 1.00 through his first 10 starts since 1920.

And if that's not enough, Jiménez and Bob Tewksbury are tied for the most consecutive starts (10) of 6 IP and 2 or fewer runs to start a season in the last 90 seasons.