Ubaldo Jimenez held the American League scoreless during the two innings he spent on the mound at last night's All-Star game, contributing to the National League's first win since the outcome established home-field advantage in the World Series.
Still, Jimenez was far from flawless -- unless he meant to almost remove Derek Jeter's head from the rest of his body in what's still primarily an exhibition.
The rising fastball that seemed locked onto Jeter's chin until the last possible moment was an example of Ubaldo's first-inning wildness, examples of which we've seen in several recent Jimenez starts. He subsequently walked Jeter and gave up a hit to Miguel Cabrera before being rescued by a Josh Hamilton comebacker he quickly translated into an inning-ending double play.
He survived the second inning, too, despite giving up a double to Evan Longoria. As a result, his appearance has to be judged a success -- especially since he didn't wind up killing Jeter on the day Yankees owner George Steinbrenner died.
And that's the bottom line. Jimenez may be wobblier now than he was during the first part of the season, when he was off-the-charts brilliant, but he's showing the kind of steadiness and resolve that will serve him well on evenings when his stuff isn't unhittable -- and when the rest of the baseball world isn't watching.
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