Nats-Rockies update: Jimenez tough to solve

We’re through 5 1/2 innings at Nationals Park, and the final game of a four-game series between the Nationals and Rockies has played out pretty much as planned: Livan Hernandez has been sharp, but Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez - one start after a no-hitter - has been almost that good today, and if the Nationals are going to win their third game of this series, it will likely have to come against Colorado’s bullpen.

Jimenez has allowed three hits and only four balls hit out of the infield in five innings. He’s throwing a 99-mph fastball and an 80-mph curveball in succession, and has the Nationals making weak contact. In the fifth, all three of their outs were comebackers to the mound.

The one thing the Nationals have working for them is that they’ve made Jimenez work; he’s thrown 84 pitches through five innings. But Rockies manager Jim Tracy has let his pitchers work deep into games in this series, and it’s a fair bet Jimenez has another 30 pitches left today. The Nationals need to make sure those 30 pitches take up no more than another inning or two.

The only difference so far is Miguel Olivo’s solo homer in the second inning. That’s where we sit as the Nats try to come back.