We have a lot of good pitchers on this team, but you find yourself counting down the days until Ubaldo Jimenez gets back out on the mound because you know it is going to be a pretty good day. He's been that spectacular -- dominating.

He's always had amazing stuff. He's always been able to throw the ball real hard, to throw it 100 miles per hour.

But now he seems to have his ball moving real well, and he gets a lot more ground balls. His breaking stuff this year seems to be controlled a lot better. He's throwing it effectively in different counts and in different situations.

When all of that is working, he's just filthy. He has five pitches he can throw for strikes at any time.

We've known for a while how talented he is. He made a lot of strides last year, and he's definitely been our ace this year. The only thing different is that he's been getting more national recognition since he threw his no-hitter in Atlanta last month. He's had a tremendous start.

Ubaldo doesn't seem to be a guy who cares at all about recognition and attention, though. He's a good young kid, he has his head on right, and I don't think he plays the game for notoriety.

Ubaldo also gives this club a great all-around effort. On and off the field, he's the hardest working guy on the team. That will help him do what he does for a long time.

Veteran first baseman Todd Helton, who has hit 325 home runs since debuting with the Rockies in 1997, made the final putout on April 17 in Atlanta when right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez pitched the first no-hitter in franchise history. A 15-game winner last year, Jimenez is off to a 6-1 start this season to go along with a 0.93 ERA and 49 strikeouts.