04/18/10 1:37 PM ET
Jimenez gets right back to work after no-no
Righty, who plans to pull feat again, goes on a six-mile run
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
Oh, he celebrated his no-hitter in a 4-0 victory over the Braves on Saturday night. A bottle of champagne was on ice in front of his locker, and he happily poured for his teammates. Fellow pitchers Rafael Betancourt, Jorge De La Rosa and Manuel Corpas, and his catcher for the first no-no in Rockies history, Miguel Olivo, took him for a late dinner. Betancourt volunteered for the tab.
But Jimenez would see the highlights. So keyed up, he would sleep for just two hours. Finally, Jimenez went to the front desk of the team's hotel and began moving forward.
"I asked if they had a place for me to run, so they gave me a map," Jimenez said. "I ran for six miles.
"There wasn't anyone in the street. It was around 6:30."
Jimenez, 26, handed over his entire uniform to a Major League Baseball authenticator. Eventually, the Rockies will decide what they keep and what ends up in Cooperstown, N.Y.
"They got my socks, for sure," said Jimenez, who wears old-school stirrups in part to honor some players he grew up watching -- including the Braves' Chipper Jones, one of the hitters he frustrated Saturday night.
But Jimenez, who kept the ball from the last out, didn't mind.
He's the ambitious sort who wants to give folks reason to collect more artifacts. To do that, he must look forward to the next start, Thursday afternoon at Washington.
"I've been confident the whole time," Jimenez said. "I want to keep doing the same things.
"It's something that God gave me the opportunity to do once in a lifetime, probably twice. I don't know when. It's not something that's going to happen every day."
Manager Jim Tracy doesn't mind Jimenez reaching for more.
"If you'd have been in our clubhouse last night, there was a strong realization," Tracy said. "It's not to say how many more times it's going to happen during the course of his career. It isn't easy to do one time.
"But is this the type of pitcher, as he goes through the course of his career, who may take another three or four of them into the seventh inning, eighth inning? Oh, yeah, he's very capable of that."
That's why the morning run was important.
At last year's World Baseball Classic, Jimenez's boyhood pitching idol, Pedro Martinez, took him under his wing, even reviewing tapes of Jimenez's appearances while waiting to sign with the Phillies. Martinez is a proponent of long runs after pitching to break up lactic acid in the muscles.
"It's not only him," said Jimenez, who said he hoped to talk with Martinez by phone Sunday. "I've seen veteran pitchers that have a long time in the big leagues. That's what they do.
"We went to San Diego a couple times, and Trevor Hoffman, I saw him running all the time. I try to learn from those guys."
Jimenez is driven, but he's also sensitive enough to let the good feelings linger.
"It was like a wonderful dream," Jimenez said. "Even if it was reality or a dream, it was wonderful."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.