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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ubaldo Makes History At Braves' Expense; No-Hits Atlanta At Turner


A first-inning run by the Rockies off Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami turned out to be all the scoring they needed. Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez pitched the first no-hitter in Rockies history, blanking the Atlanta Braves 4-0.

Jimenez needed 128 pitches to complete the feat. His control wasn't the greatest; he had 56 balls compared to 72 strikes, and walked six Braves hitters. But in the sixth inning, he pitched exclusively from the stretch and retired every Braves batter he faced from then on, ending the game by retiring the last 15 Braves batters.

The closest calls to ending the no-hitter came in the seventh inning. With a 3-1 count, Troy Glaus smacked a pitch into left-center. Dexter Fowler, who was shading him a little towards right field, sprinted to his left and caught the ball with a perfectly-timed dive. The next batter, Yunel Escobar, hit a low sinking line drive that Fowler caught about two feet off the ground.

Kawakami went five innings for the Braves and allowed four runs on eight hits. He also got picked off of second base on a perfect throw by catcher Miguel Olivo. Jimenez also hit a two-out single off of him that scored the second run for the Rockies. Carlos Gonzalez, who doubled and scored the game's first run, drove in Jimenez and Ian Stewart with another two-bagger, giving him two on the day.

The Braves bullpen was the only bright spot, featuring the major league debut of left-hander Jonny Venters. He did his job, going three innings, allowing just one hit and one walk, striking out two Rockie hitters. Jesse Chavez pitched a scoreless ninth to finish the pitching for the Braves.

Odds 'N Ends: The last time the Braves were no-hit was, of course, Randy Johnson's perfect game on May 18, 2004. Chipper Jones is the only Brave to participate in the two recent no-hitters.

Martin Prado, whose 14-game hitting streak was snapped, was the only Braves players to walk twice.

Jonny Venters joined four other Atlanta Braves players to pitch three innings in their major league debuts:

  • Jonny Venters, 4/17/2010 vs. COL - 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO
  • Kevin Barry, 6/26/2006 vs. NYY - 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO
  • Trey Hodges, 9/10/2002 vs. NYM - 3 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, W
  • Derrin Ebert, 4/6/1999 vs. PHI - 3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO, S
  • Cecil Upshaw, 10/1/1966 vs. CIN - 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO
Kenshin Kawakami has only gotten three runs of support this year from the Braves, continuing a pattern from last season. If Kawakami had qualified last season, he would have had the worst run support in the National League (3.55 R/G).

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