Colorado righthander Ubaldo Jimenez blew his 100-mile-per-hour fastball past the Atlanta Braves last night to give his Rockies the first no-hitter in the team’s 18-year history.
Jimenez won his third game of the Major League Baseball season 4-0 as he issued six walks and struck out seven at Turner Field in Atlanta. He threw 128 pitches to 31 batters.
“Probably after the seventh inning I was like ‘Whoa, there’s only two innings left. I have a chance to do this,’” the 26-year-old Jimenez said.
Jimenez was still throwing at velocities in the upper 90s as Atlanta’s second, third and fourth hitters came to the plate in the final inning, according to the mlb.com game report. He got Martin Prado out on a pop-up to second before Chipper Jones flied out to left and Brian McCann grounded out to second to end the game.
“Chipper and McCann,” Jimenez said. “They’re two of the best hitters in the league. Why did it have to be those guys? Can’t they give me a break?”
McCann, whose batting average dipped to .300 after four fruitless at-bats last night, said he had never before been part of a no-hitter. Jones, batting .192 after a slow start this year, carries a career .307 average through 17 seasons with the Braves.
“He’s impressive,” McCann said. “I’d never even seen a no-hitter, except on TV.”
Mark Buehrle pitched the last Major League no-hitter when the Chicago White Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays July 23. The last pitcher to hurl a no-hitter against the Braves was Randy Johnson, who beat Atlanta 2-0 in a perfect game for the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 18, 2004.
Troy Tulowitzki started the scoring for the Rockies, hitting a sacrifice fly in the first inning to drive in Carlos Gonzalez.
In the fourth inning, Jimenez hit a single to score Brad Hawpe and Gonzalez doubled to left center, sending Ian Stewart and Jimenez across home plate.
Kenshin Kawakami, 0-2, took the loss for the Braves, giving up eight hits and four runs in five innings.
“It was not just my rhythm that was off,” Kawakami said. “The lineup’s rhythm was off.”