Posted by Drew Zeitlin:
Hello everybody. You know anything can happen in baseball. There are baseball stories some true some not so true but usually they are colorful and fun, and the one that I am going to tell you is true and 17 years ago you would not believe it. It is time to pick up the diary for the MLB.com At Bat 2010 iPhone app once again. Today will be day 62. The story starts back in 1993 with the birth of Major League Baseball in Colorado. One of the big concerns when baseball came to Colorado was that all the hitting records could fall because of the altitude. Another concern was who would want to pitch in Colorado on a full time bases. They would have to be nuts. There ERA could be in double digits. The Rockies were aware of this potential problem. They would get young pitchers who threw ground balls. The problem with this theory is that every team wants young pitchers who throw ground balls, and they are hard to find. In the supplemental draft the first player was pitcher David Nied. He wasn't quite the answer as he won a total of 17 games in the majors. The first couple of years the pitchers that wore the Rockies uniform did compile some bad ERA's. Was it the altitude or was it bad pitching. The Rockies tried everything young pitchers, old pitchers, they traded for pitchers, they drafted pitchers, they even gave a couple of pitchers a whole lot of money to pitch. Nothing seemed to work especially that last option of giving a whole lot of money to pitchers. There would be some success for certain pitchers but it usually did not last. The team ERA was in the 5's and sometimes touch the 6's.
It looked like it was the altitude but it sure did seem strange that the altitude did not effect the better pitchers in the league. Then came the 1998 All-Star Game to Coors Field and all kinds of offensive records were broken with an American League 13-8 victory. Even when the best pitchers in the league showed up there was 21 runs scored. It was true you just could not pitch in Colorado. Or was it? First the Rockies put the humidor to work. The humidor is a method where the Rockies have kept baseballs in an atmosphere controlled climate, this is to keep the baseball from shrinking, hardening and losing friction in Colorado's unique environment. The next thing they did was scout and find better pitching. With better talent and a ball that kind of equals out the altitude the Rockies pitching got better. The team got better. The Rockies team ERA now was under 5 and shrinking. The Rockies went to the World Series in 2007 and made a trip to the playoffs in 2009. Although the Rockies pitching was a lot better no pitcher really was very dominate.
Then 2010 came and the Rockies have the best pitcher in baseball as we write this post. His name is Ubaldo Jimenez. He is dominate and he pitches full time for the Rockies. We know it is still early and anything can happen in baseball. At the end of May Ubaldo leads the majors in wins he is 9-1. He leads all of baseball in ERA with an ERA of 0.88. That is right an ERA 0.88 and pitching full time at Coors Field. Did we mention that he threw a no hitter in April. Wow what a season, what a pitcher, what a story. Not sure back in 1993 or 1998 or 2002 anybody could have imagined that a pitcher from the Rockies would achieve such things. But its all true. If your a Rockies fan it is almost unbelievable.
If you like to read all the post of this diary click here and you will be taken to our blog where you will see all the post in order. Till next time.