1st Pitch: Ubaldo on the road (to history)

Quick Hits: Ubaldo Jimenez takes his mind-boggling road statistics (7-1, 0.76 ERA) over to Target Field on Thursday. He’s put himself on pace for numbers not seen since 1968, “The Year of the Pitcher.” Let’s take a closer look at Ubaldo’s road dominance:

  • Jimenez’s seven road wins equal the Orioles’ total number of road wins (7-27).

  • At his current pace, Jimenez is on track to win 17 games on the road alone. Over the last 50 years, that’s only been done twice according to STATS LLC, both in 1968: Juan Marichal (18-4) and Denny McLain (17-2).

  • The last pitcher to even win 14 on the road was Scott McGregor, who went 14-1 for the Orioles in 1983.

  • His 0.76 road ERA is nearly half Roy Oswalt’s 1.50, which ranks second in the majors.

  • The lowest qualifying road ERA over the last 50 years? Bob Gibson’s 0.81 in his historic 1968 season.

  • Jimenez has allowed just five earned runs in 59.1 innings on the road. There have been 393 starts this season in which a pitcher has allowed at least five runs.

  • Jeff Samardzija has pitched only a third of an inning on the road this season, and has allowed the same number of earned runs (5) as Jimenez has in over 59 innings of work.

  • Opponents are hitting just .152 against Jimenez in these games. The last pitcher to pull that off on the road was Luis Tiant (.145) in 1968.

  • Jimenez already has a pair of road shutouts. The last pitcher with more than three was Jack McDowell (4) in 1993.

Today’s Trivia: Arguably the top two active starters from the Dominican Republic face each other on Thursday, as Ubaldo Jimenez and Francisco Liriano will do battle. With neither Pedro Martinez or Bartolo Colon on a roster, who is the winningest active pitcher born in the Dominican Republic?

Today’s Leaderboard: Though opponents are hitting just .152 against Jimenez when he is on the road, he has issued 22 walks in those games. As a result, he ranks just fourth in the majors in opponents’ on-base percentage in road games. Roy Oswalt’s .217 opponents’ OBP is the best in the majors.

Lowest Opponents’ On-Base Pct in Road Games

Key Matchups: Manny Ramirez has only faced his former teammate Bronson Arroyo once (a flyout). However, the other hitters in the heart of the Dodgers order are licking their chops. Andre Ethier (.368), Matt Kemp (.455) and James Loney (.471) have hit a combined .426 against the Reds’ veteran. For Loney, it’s his second highest average against a pitcher he has faced at least 15 times.

Adrian Beltre is a .410 career hitter against Dan Haren, having faced him extensively as AL West foes. However, the two have not squared off since 2007 and Beltre is hitless in his last five at-bats against him. Yet, Beltre may not be the Red Sox hitter most excited to see Haren. Victor Martinez is a .538 hitter against Haren, the highest average for anyone who has faced the Diamondbacks’ ace at least 15 times.

Trivia Answer: At 95-110, Nationals’ reliever Miguel Batista has more wins than any other pitcher from the Dominican currently on a roster. He ranks ninth all-time among pitchers born in that country.