A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jo Jo Reyes

After a dismal beginning to the 2011 season that saw him go 0-5, Ubaldo Jimenez finally seems like he's back, at least for one game, as he shut out the Dodgers on a 4-hitter in Chavez Ravine. Add to this the fact that he was free of walks and had struck out 7 batters and you have the recipe for the first 4 months of 2010 Ubaldo Jimenez. That said, what happened to Ubaldo?
Was it all just make believe? Did we dream that 2010 season? Maybe he's just trying to steal Jo Jo Reyes' thunder after he finally got a win for the first time after losing 28 straight starts. From June 13, 2008, (his last win) to May 30th, he couldn't buy a win. He made it to 3-4 on the 2008 season on that victorious day in June, but after that, he lost 7 more games. He 0-2 the next year, 0-0 the year after that, and prior to his win a few days ago, he was 0-4. Talk about an absolute lack of love.
So can either of these guys rattle off a win steak for the ages? Sure Jimenez has potential, but scouts talked about his lack of velocity in recent times. That's a far cry from Dexter Fowler making a superb catch to save Ubaldo's no hitter and be useful on the baseball field (other than striking out in the batter's box).
But we can't all be great, it's just when a player does what Jimenez did...
15-1 with a 2.20 ERA on July 8th.
19-8 with a 2.88 ERA when the season finished.
We have to wonder.
He had and has potential. The 214 whiffs say it, but he has problems (the league leading 16 wild pitches say that, too).
Reyes is Reyes. The career 5.87 ERA might reflect hope in upside. It might reflect being cheap to get a pitcher to eat innings in a town that doesn't have a contract (see Toronto, and see the $439,000 salary).
But Ubaldo has movement on his pitches and he could be the man... with or without blisters on his hand.
All the same, for whatever he is, he has a great name that just rolls off of the tongue. He's like Asdrubal Cabrera... there's just pop on that name and we want to feel something great is going to come when it hits the senses.
Sadly, prior to tonight it hasn't happened, but maybe, just maybe, like Francisco Liriano turning things around with that no hitter, we want to believe it's going to happen, and then it doesn't, and something worse happens (1 hiccup game in the next 3 and an injury), and we forget the greatness, and the Yankees don't have a pitching option to trade for in July, and  yeah... hope dies withering.
But there are always the moments of glory and the feeling of greatness that is like a long yearned for moment of ecstasy that comes with a pie in the face...
And couldn't we all use one of those.

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