That was Jackson's stat line before the 9th when he allowed a 2 run blast to Adam Jones. Regardless, this was a fantastic start for Jackson and you can hardly fault Leyland for letting him try to go the distance. His game score (a stat developed by Bill James) was a 74. Based on that, this would be his 3rd best start of the year, behind his 8 inning, 0 ER performance against Baltimore on May 31st and his stingy complete game against the Angels on June 6. After a rough outing against the Indians when he only lasted 4 innings, allowed 9 base runners and 3 runs, this was a much needed start for him.
It was a fairly good mix for Jackson as he K'd 8 batters, induced 9 ground ball outs and 10 fly ball outs. He flirted with a high pitch count for awhile but a 8 pitch inning in the 7th and a 7 pitch inning in the 8th has a way of alleviating that concern. And, you have to love his pitch speed graph courtesy of Brooks Baseball...
As Leyland likes to say, he is a horse. There is no noticeable drop off as the innings pile up in a game and that is really, really good to see.
- Our offense was the victim of a lot of bad luck yesterday. Adam Everett had several good at bats and swings before finally getting a single late in the game. Magglio had 3 great swings on the ball but one of them ended up going for a double play. Granderson hit the ball hard, Polanco hit a lined shot to the 2nd baseman in one inning, etc. We deserved more runs off Guthrie and more than 4 runs for the game. Oh well. We will see if that performance can continue today.
- It was nice to see Maggs look good against a right handed pitcher. His HR off Guthrie might have been the best hit he has had all year. But, I am not proclaiming him back. He had good career numbers entering the day against Guthrie (4 for 7 with 2 doubles) and he has failed far too often against right handed pitchers for him to see many more of them the rest of this year.
- Rodney did allow 2 baserunners but his stuff was pretty filthy and I had no problems with him walking Luke Scott. He continues to be a very good closer for us this season.
- We needed to win this series and we are 1 win away from doing that. 2 down. Now, lets take the afternoon game today and get this home stand started off right.