Perils of the NL West …

So you say you’re tired of seeing Colorado pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez?

Imagine how the Padres’ hitters feel, especially after they managed one run on four hits with 13 strikeouts in seven innings on Monday at PETCO Park.

Jimenez, obviously, is the real deal. He was before he threw a no-hitter last month. He was the real deal last season and in the playoffs and, honestly, has had no-hit stuff for quite a while even as he struggled with command as a young pitcher.
 
The Padres have already faced Jimenez twice this season and, with plenty of more games on the schedule against the Rockies, you can expect the Padres will see plenty more of him as we move forward.

That’s the National League West for you.

This reminds me of 2008 when the Padres faced Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum six times. Yes, six times. That particular match-up didn’t end real well for the Padres. Lincecum went 3-0 with a 0.62 ERA in those six starts. The Padres hit .172 against him in those starts.

Lincecum, of course, went on to win the National League Cy Young Award in 2008. I have to think Jimenez with his start, is the early favorite to do so in 2010.

This is clearly a case of a pitcher putting all the pieces together. He was 2-3 with a 4.45 ERA in five starts against San Diego in 2008. You could see the talent there, it was just a matter of command. He’s got that now.

And, to be sure, the Padres figure to see plenty more of him this season. That’s life for you in the National League West.

— Corey Brock, MLB.com

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