Jimenez named NL Player of the Week

Jimenez named NL Player of the Week

Ubaldo Jimenez's week of firsts continued on Monday.

Two days after throwing the first no-hitter of his career -- and the first in Colorado history -- the right-hander won his first National League Player of the Week award.

Jimenez said that he knows that the no-hitter against the Braves played a big role, and he's very proud of that no-hitter.

"I'm happy," he said with a smile before Monday's game in Washington. "It's something that's always going to be there in my mind."

Against a high-powered Braves offense, Jimenez used his electric fastball to hurl the no-no despite issuing six walks. The 26-year-old struck out seven, retired the last 12 hitters he faced, and, on his career-high 128th pitch, got Brian McCann to turn a 1-2, up-and-in fastball into a groundout to Clint Barmes to preserve what became the 264th no-hitter in Major League history.

"The no-hitter's the number one thing," Jimenez said. "It's something that I'll have forever. It doesn't happen every day."

Almost every no-hitter has at least one gem-preserving catch. On Saturday, Dexter Fowler contributed two in one inning. In the seventh, the Atlanta-area native dashed from just right of dead-center to the left-center-field gap and stretched to backhand Troy Glaus' line drive near the warning track. He made another nice play for the next out of the inning, sprinting toward the infield to snag Yunel Escobar's sinking line drive.

"It's a great feeling, and I'm really happy to do it for Jimenez," Fowler said after the game. "Anything I can do to help."

Colorado manager Jim Tracy said Monday that he's constantly impressed by Jimenez's work ethic and constant thirst to get better and not be satisfied.

Tracy smiled when talking about how his coaches were leaving for the ballpark in Atlanta early on Sunday morning, the day after the no-hitter, and as they were going out of the hotel, they saw Jimenez coming in after a six-mile run.

The right-hander told them he didn't sleep much after his big night.

"He's the cream of the crop," said Tracy.

Thanks in large part to a suggestion by pitching coach Bob Apodaca to throw from the stretch with his pitch count rising early, Jimenez became the fourth Dominican-born pitcher to throw a no-hitter, joining Jose Jimenez (Cardinals, 1999), Ramon Martinez (Dodgers, 1995) and Hall of Famer Juan Marichal (Giants, 1963).

Jimenez, who sported a 3.47 ERA and won 15 games last season, is now 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his first three starts of the 2010 campaign.

His next start is scheduled to be in the finale of the four-game series in Washington on Thursday afternoon.

Other top performers in the NL last week included Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright (2-0 with a 1.06 ERA and 16 strikeouts), Padres starter Kevin Correia (2-0, 1.59 ERA), Dodgers outfielders Andre Ethier (.423 batting average, three homers and nine RBIs) and Matt Kemp (.333, four homers), Phillies second baseman Chase Utley (.333, five homers), Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez (.476, five doubles) and Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla (.464, seven RBIs, 13 hits).

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.