Despite loss, Jimenez delivered what he and the Orioles needed -
Dan Connolly

Despite loss, Jimenez delivered what he and the Orioles needed

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Despite the 4-0 loss to the Washington Nationals, Thursday night was a victory for Orioles’ right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez.

He needed a strong pitching performance. The Orioles needed it. The fans needed it.

With No. 1 starter Chris Tillman on the shelf at least through this month with shoulder bursitis, the Orioles starting rotation was searching for a boost.

And it came Thursday from the roster’s most expensive and most beleaguered pitcher.

“It felt really good,” said Jimenez, who allowed one run – a Jayson Werth homer – on five hits in six innings. “It felt really good to be there for the team when they needed it the most, especially right now that Tilly went down. It felt good that I was able to compete and give them a chance to be close in the score.”

Ultimately, Jimenez picked up the loss, his 11th this season. But he pitched great against a good lineup, walking no one, striking out four and lowering his season ERA from 6.94 to 6.62.

“He was great,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “I think everybody was pulling for him. He’s such a good young man, just needed it.”

Consider what the assignment was.

Fill in for Tillman, you know, the Orioles’ best starter. Oh, and start for the first time since July 28, and the second time in the second half of this season.

Oh, and do it against a Nationals team that has lost three straight to their geographical rival and is seemingly backed-up into a corner.

Oh, and the guy you’re sharing a mound with will be Max Scherzer one of the most dominating pitchers on the planet.

You get the picture. No pressure.

“As a starting pitcher, that’s one of the games that you dream of, because it gets you going,” a smiling Jimenez said after Thursday’s game. “You have to bring your A-game, because (Scherzer) is tough to hit. You have to go out there and compete.”

Jimenez competed. He darn near dominated. And he earned another start – though Showalter didn’t say it directly.

“I haven’t even gotten that far on,” Showalter said after the game, adding, “I don’t know what else he has to do.”

For his part, Jimenez hopes that he gets another chance to start and to try and put a nightmare season behind him.

“Hopefully, I get some more,” he said. “But wherever they put me, I’m going to try to do the best I can to be there for the team.”



  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 26, 2016 at 7:27 am

    I surmise to you, that perhaps the key to maximizing Ubaldo’s effectiveness is to give him 4 rest weeks between starts?

    • Dan Connolly

      August 26, 2016 at 9:31 am

      It’s a plan. Seriously, matching him up against teams he’s had success again has worked. Toronto isn’t one of those, though.

  2. 5brooks5

    August 26, 2016 at 9:51 am

    If character and decency were the traits necessary to be a winning pitcher, than Ubaldo would be a Cy Young candidate. I felt good for him, he deserves to do well,I hope he continues,it’s nice to see him smile after a game!

  3. Bancells Moustache

    August 26, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    My thinking is the opposite; this was the worst thing Ubaldo could have done. Time and again we have gotten the random gem from this guy, which inevitably leads to the “looks like he’s gotten it together” talk which is always followed by his being pulverized in his next 2 or 3 starts. They were facing the best pitcher in the NL not named Clayton on the road last night. Just get clobbered all over the ballpark so we can cut ties already. It sucks, because he is probably the nicest guy ever, but this false hope needs to end.

    • claudecat

      August 26, 2016 at 5:55 pm

      It pains me to have to agree with this. Ubaldo is the polar opposite of consistent, and this excellent start only paves the way for a few more that are bound to be more Ubaldo-ian, and probably against teams we can’t afford to lose to.

      I’ve long been an advocate for Vance Worley getting some starts myself. He’s not pretty to watch but has done pretty much everything he’s been asked to do, in relief or on the all too rare occasions when he’s a starter. This latest Ubaldo tease just pushes the Vanimal’s next start further into the realm of unlikelihood, and that’s a shame.

  4. claudecat

    August 26, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Oh, one last thing. To the webmaster or Dan or whomever: the auto-playing videos are a pain in the tookus! Make ’em stop please!

    • Steve Cockey

      August 26, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Claudecat. We’re trying to make this work financially but will look into reducing or removing them.

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