After hitting a two-run homer that put away the vaunted Red Sox last night, Jason Giambi said, "This could be one of those games when you look back on the season and see this as a turning point" -- and he's right.
But we won't know for a while if the direction of that turn will be up or down.
The reason for concern centers on the undoubted MVP of the Rockies season thus far, Ubaldo Jimenez. Over six weeks ago, we suggested that Jimenez could well become the team's first-ever Cy Young winner, and since then, he's continued to pitch as well as anyone in the MLB.
Until last night, that is. Before the game, he was reportedly battling the flu, but he gamely took the mound anyhow, and for the first three innings, he looked superhuman, as usual.
And then, in the fourth, reality struck -- and it kept striking until the Rockies early 4-0 lead had been transformed into a 6-5 deficit.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The ninth-inning bashing of Giambi and Ian Stewart ensured that Jimenez would get a no-decision, not a loss. Still, will Jimenez be less confident, more tentative when the rotation comes around to him again because of what happened last night, understandable though it was due to his health? Has the magical spell been broken? Will he come down to earth, causing his still excellent ERA to rise?
It's possible. After all, baseball is all about momentum and mentality.
Still, my money's on Jimenez getting his mojo back for his next start. He's clearly an astonishing talent who's been improving each year. He was due for a meltdown, and that it came when he was ill could prove to be a positive in the long run.
And so could the late-inning firepower, which rescued a man who's been saving the Rockies' asses all season long.