Results tagged ‘ Bengie Molina ’
Names are beginning to surface in the Rockies’ search for a complement to catcher Chris Iannetta. The least-name known might end up the best fit.
Former All-Star Russell Martin and Bengie Molina, a respected veteran, created buzz. However, Ronny Paulino is more of a true backup. The Rockies have had Yorvit Torrealba and Miguel Olivo push Iannetta out of playing time in recent years, and they vowed to give Iannetta a clean shot at the starting job without having to look over his shoulder.
Actually, the search for a relief pitcher might be more important to the Rockies’ quest to return to the playoffs. Righties Jesse Crain, Jon Rauch, Kevin Gregg and Matt Guerrier are at the top of the Rox’s shopping list.
Jorge Cantu is a utility possibility, and the club will do due diligence on Edwin Encarnacion. There are trade possibilities. Angels catcher-first baseman Mike Napoli and Nationals corner bat Josh Willingham would be high on such a list.
As a youth in the Dominican Republic, Ubaldo Jimenez recalled reading in school history books about pitcher Juan Marichal, the former San Francisco Giants great who was the first Dominican player to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Now Jimenez’s 2010 start for the Rockies has his name being mentioned alongside of that of Marichal, as well as other all-time greats.
When Jimenez entered AT&T Park on Monday — he had to walk past a bronze statue of Marichal en route to the visiting team player entrance — Marichal owned one of three ERAs in history lower than his 0.88 through 10 starts. Marichal had a 0.59 in 1966, Hoyt Wilhelm posted a 0.83 in 1959 and Eddie Cicotte had a 0.84 in 1919.
All Jimenez did Monday was shut out the Giants, 4-0, and drop his ERA to 0.78.
Jimenez smiles humbly when reminded that, at least for two months, he has written his name in history alongside those of some of the greatest pitchers in history.
“I’m just proud for what I’ve been able to accomplish this year,” Jimenez said. “It’s always big to be mentioned with a guy like Juan Marichal. He’s the only Dominican in the Hall of Fame. I’m just humble for the opportunity, for the chance.”
Jimenez said he was pitching for the Rockies in Denver the 2007 World Series when he met Marichal and they’ve talked “a couple of times.”
Jimenez said he never copied the towering leg kick, which is depicted with the statue and is shown in thousands of pictures. He never thought he’d have anything in common with Marichal. He thought he’d never get any closer to Marichal than the textbook.
“I was in high school,” Jimenez said. “I didn’t even think I was going to sign with any team. I was just playing baseball for love. That was when I was around 15, so I only thought about playing the game for love, for passion.”
Now he can’t help but play for history. And his teammates can’t help but be aware.
Rockies infielders Clint Barmes and Troy Tulowitzki made strong defensive plays in the seventh. Center fielder Carlos Gonzalez helped preserve the shutout by crashing into the wall to grab Bengie Molina’s leadoff drive in the eighth.
With each inning on the MLB.com Gameday application, Jimenez’s ERA is updated after each batter. Gonzalez said players don’t really need to see the stats. They’re quite aware.
“I wanted him to stay and finish the game,” Gonzalez said. “Of course we all know what he’s doing. We want to make sure he gets everything from us. We want to be able to help him.”
Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis, who missed last season because of shoulder surgery, is getting a rude welcome back to the mound from the Giants. After a scoreless first inning, he gave up a single to Bengie Molina, walked John Bowker (Francis’ second walk of the game) and served up a three-run homer to left to Juan Uribe, which was close to clearing the hill where fans sit beyond the outfield wall. A full story is coming…
Recent callup Matt Murton is in the llineup in left field as the Rockies prepare to face the Giants and accomplished lefty Randy Jonhnson at AT&T Park. Well, they hope to play. But it’s raining and cold and nasty here. It’s often cold and nasty in The City by the Bay. Beautiful city, lousy weather.
With Johnson the mound, manager Clint Hurdle gave another day off to right fielder Brad Hawpe, a left-handed hitter. Hawpe was hit in the back of the neck by a thrown ball on Monday, and suffered a contusion that kept him out of the next two games. Hawpe said he would feel good enough to play tonight.
Anyhow, here are the lineups:
Dexter Fowler CF
Matt Murton LF
Todd Helton 1B
Garrett Atkins 3B
Ryan Spilborghs RF
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Chris Iannetta C
Clint Barmes 2B
Ubaldo Jimenez P
Randy Winn LF
Edgar Renteria SS
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Bengie Molina C
Aaron Rowland CF
Fred Lewis LF
Travis Ishikawa 1B
Emmanuel Burriss 2B
Randy Johnson P