The Closer: Ubaldo solid as a rock

Ubaldo Jimenez had thrown 25 1/3 scoreless innings until former Rockie Yorvit Torrealba doubled home Will Venable to end the streak in the 4th inning. Jimenez threw 16 1/3 scoreless innings since his no-hitter April 17th vs the Braves. That's the longest scoreless streak following a no-hitter since Cy Young (22 innings) in 1904. Jimenez is now 7-0 with a 0.95 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings in his last seven starts dating back to last season.


Won 1st 6 Starts of Season
Allowing Fewer Than 3 ER in Each Game, Since 2000

Jimenez becomes the fourth pitcher since 2000 to win his first 6 starts of the season while allowing 3 ER or fewer in each.

Why Ubaldo Jimenez won:
- Pounded away with the fastball. Jimenez threw 68 fastballs, holding Padres hitters to 3-15 (.200) on the pitch and striking out seven Padres. In fact, his strikeout percentage with the fastball (46.7%) was almost double his already stellar season percentage of 23.7% and over tripled the MLB strikeout percentage on fastballs of 13.3%.
- Commanded the bottom of the strike zone. Jimenez held San Diego bats to 1-12 (.083) on pitches down in the zone, recording eight strikeouts (66.7% of plate appearances- MLB K% low in zone: 25.7%).
- Padres couldn't hit him if they tried. Jimenez posted a swing-and-miss percentage of 38.1%, besting by far both his season percentage (25.5%) and the major league average (20.6%).

Why CC Sabathia won:

- Owned the outside corner. Sabathia held Orioles hitters to 1-10 on pitches on the outer third of the plate. The outside fastball in particular was an effective weapon for Sabathia, who kept Baltimore bats to 1-7 with a ground ball percentage of 85.7%. Sabathia's outside fastball GB percentage is 60% on the season, and the 2010 MLB average is 48.0%.
- Let his fielders do the job. While he only registered two strikeouts (6.7% of plate appearances), he also only walked two batters (6.7% of plate appearances), better than his 2010 average (8.5%) and the league average this season (8.9%).
- Monday's game was actually the first time Sabathia has pitched eight or more innings and recorded two strikeouts since September 17, 2002, when Sabathia's Cleveland Indians lost to the Boston Red Sox 4-2. He's pitched at least eight innings in 67 career starts, and Monday was only the third time he's struck out two or fewer hitters.

Why Jake Peavy won:

- His slider returned: Peavy's dominance on his slider, his signature pitch, returned after some early-season struggles.


Jake Peavy's Slider This Season

- Improved command: After averaging a career worst 6.3 BB per 9 IP so far in 2010, Peavy walked only one in seven innings. It's the first time he walked one or fewer in seven or more innings pitched since May 17 last season.

Why Brett Cecil won:

- Mixed locations well on non-fastball pitches. Cecil's walk and strikeout percentages (0% and 53.8%, respectively) were both much better than the league averages (27.1 K%, 5.1 BB%). Cecil was able to do this by inducing swings on non-fastballs out of the zone at an impressive rate, getting Indians batters to chase 37.5% of those pitches (MLB average- 28.1%).
- General dominance. Cecil retired the first batter of all eight innings he pitched, and seven of those eight innings were 1-2-3 innings. Cecil also retired 15 of 16 Cleveland batters in two-strike counts.
- Controlled the low and outside corner. Cecil held Cleveland hitters to 0-6 on pitches low and away, and got his outs mixing his pitches. Two Indians were retired on the fastball, two on the changeup, and two on the curveball, all low and outside. His 40% chase percentage on low and outside pitches was almost double the 20.1% MLB average.