Ubaldo-Jimenez-Blurball

Alright, so enough with the humble pie already. Don't you Sox fans know how many calories are in that? I feel like I need a diet I've eaten so many slices today. At any rate, I just want to make sure all those reading this from Red Sox Nation that are convinced this series will end in a sweep are sure to post it in the comments before tonight's game.

ook_the_nuke and cwesquire are already on record from my last post, does anybody else wish to join them?

Tonight the Red Sox get their first taste of Ubaldo Jimenez. One hundred-mph fastballs only come out once or twice a game from him, so that's probably just an exaggeration if you've heard that he throws like that more often. Typically it's in the 97 to 99-mph range. He mixes that with a "changeup" that comes in about as fast as Jeff Francis throws his fastball, typically 89â90 mph, and if the Red Sox are going to get home runs off of him, they will likely come off of sitting on this pitch. Finally, he mixes in a slider that's too good to be called a "back door" one. It's more like a sneak through your bedroom window and snoop through your underwear drawer slider, and if you think that's perverted, just be thankful he's mostly scrapped his filthy curve.

This Sox lineup should be able to get to him, though. I mean, even pitcher Doug Davis got a hit off of him in the NLCS. So, really, how hard can he be? Plus, he walks a lot of people. Four in each of his last two games against the Dâbacks and Phillies. A patient team like Boston should be good for six or so, don't you think? How many hits should we give them, seven? eight? a Francisâesque 10?

You think I'm baiting you, don't you? You're right. I am. But rise to it. The Cubs clobbered Jimenez this season. Certainly Boston's better than the Cubs, right?

Let's go on to the Red Sox starter this evening, borderline Hall of Fame candidate Curt Schilling. Schilling used to throw almost as hard as Jimenez, but his velocity has dipped in recent years and he makes his living now being a very cerebral pitcher; mixing speeds, locations and types of pitches to gut out nine wins for the Sox this season. He also lost eight.

Let me just say that my feeling is that he's going to get hammered.

And just so you don't feel alone in putting your predictions down here, let me also say that my feeling is that Jimenez does what no other pitcher has this post season and strikes out at least six Red Sox. I worry that he might walk close to that many, but I don't think Boston has enough hitters who can damage him in the same way they damaged the softer-throwing Francis. I'm guessing the hitters that draw walks amount to little tonight for Boston. It's a completely reversed scenario tonight from Game 1, and the only way the Rockies don't walk out of here with a split is if they allow last night to effect them. I don't think it happens.

Go Rockies.

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