Talk about a strange game.
Jimenez was pulled after one rocky inning when the Rockies agreed to deal their ace to Cleveland, and Colorado rallied for a 10-6 victory over the San Diego Padres.
“Some very incredible circumstances in relation to this game,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “To go out there and win the ballgame speaks for itself.”
Eliezer Alfonzo(notes) hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high five runs for the Rockies. Troy Tulowitzki(notes) had three RBIs, including a two-run homer, and Esmil Rogers(notes) (4-1) came on in relief of Jimenez and allowed one run in five innings.
But it was how Jimenez started the game, with Rogers was warming up in the bullpen, that was odd.
“He started to warm up and we found out shortly after the national anthem had finished that it was official,” Tracy said. “At the time that he went down (to warm up), we hadn’t gotten official confirmation. Once the game started, there was (a deal).”
Jimenez gave up four runs, two hits and four walks in the shaky first. He was lifted for Rogers and told reporters outside the Colorado locker room he had been traded to the Indians.
The Rockies confirmed the five-player deal with Cleveland later in the game. Colorado will get three minor leaguers and a player to be named.
“For sure, I didn’t have my mind on baseball right there,” Jimenez said. “It’s extremely hard to get traded. When I got to the mound in the first inning, I couldn’t even throw a strike because I didn’t have my mind on the game.”
Jimenez was greeted with hugs, handshakes and pats on the back from his teammates and coaches when he came into the dugout after the first inning.
“I have known him since I have been with the organization,” Tulowitzki said. “It’s tough to see someone like him go.”
Tracy said before Jimenez went to the mound, there were plenty of distractions.
“I called him into the office (before the game) because there was something that had gone across on the television that said he had been traded,” Tracy said. “I was waiting for confirmation. If time allowed, he would not have started the game. But I didn’t get that call, so I called him in here to tell him the TV was not (true).”
Even though the trade was not a surprise, Tracy said that doesn’t make it easier.
“I understand the things we are doing,” said Tracy, whose eyes got moist as he spoke of Jimenez. “But that doesn’t make it very simple to say goodbye to somebody who has meant so much to this organization and to myself personally as a manager.”
“It was kind of bittersweet,” Alfonzo said. “It feels good to contribute, but then to lost Ubaldo makes it tough.”
Colorado earned its third consecutive win, improving to 11-3 in its last 14 games at Petco Park.
“It was kind of an odd day,” Harang said. “(Jimenez) didn’t look like his normal self.”
Jimenez, who finished third in the NL Cy Young Award voting last season after going 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA, threw 45 pitches, only 21 for strikes.
Ludwick and Alberto Gonzalez each had a two-run double in the first.
Tulowitzki’s homer broke Colorado’s five-game drought, its longest in nearly a year.
NOTES: San Diego LHP Wade LeBlanc(notes) will be called up from Triple-A Tucson to start in place of RHP Dustin Moseley(notes) (slight left shoulder dislocation) on Sunday. … Padres manager Bud Black said team doctor Heinz Hoenecke was “encouraged” about LHP Clayton Richard’s(notes) shoulder surgery. Black said the team expects Richard to be ready by the first day of spring training with no restrictions.