Jackson passes test, and it won't get much harder

After one round, the scorecard:
Edwin Jackson: 7 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Daniel Hudson: 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
That’ll do, Edwin. That’ll do.
On Wednesday night, Jackson did what the White Sox version of Hudson, Lucas Harrell and Carlos Torres could not do — throw strikes to a bad offensive team and let them get themselves out.
The way he approached his first batter, Austin Jackson, was representative of his effort on the whole. He got ahead with two fastballs, and then after a pitch out of the zone, he threw a rolling slider that Jackson shot into center field.
Edwin Jackson spotted his fastball OK, but his slider control varied from good late-breaking action away from right-handed hitters to inner-half hangers.
One in particular could have — and probably should have — changed the entire complexion of the game. He threw this one to Miguel Cabrera after Paul Konerko’s throwing error put two on with nobody out:

Cheating death.
A Triple Crown candidate doesn’t miss that pitch very often. If Jackson got what he deserved, the Sox are trailing 3-1 instead of ahead 1-0.
Maybe that flyout is a gift from the baseball gods, who watched the previous fifth (and sixth) starters walk 14 guys combined over their three starts. Jackson, in contrast, threw first-pitch strikes to 23 of 31 batters, and nearly three out of every four pitches were in the zone. Ozzie Guillen was certainly appreciative of his control, as well as his velocity.
I’d say that Jackson’s slider has to show more bite, and he needs to hit the mitt and miss better his next time out, but after looking through the rest of the schedule, I don’t think that’s necessary. Here’s what he has to contend with if everybody stays on schedule (league rank in OPS):

  • Aug. 9: Baltimore (13th)
  • Aug. 14: Detroit (6th)
  • Aug. 20: Kansas City (9th)
  • Aug. 26: Baltimore (13th)
  • Aug. 31: Cleveland (12th)
  • Sept. 6: Detroit (6th)
  • Sept. 11: Kansas City (9th)
  • Sept. 17: Detroit (6th)
  • Sept. 22: Oakland (11th)
  • Sept. 28: Boston (1st)
  • Oct. 3: Cleveland (12th)

Ho. Lee. Crap. This is a cakewalk.
Boston will be tough. Otherwise, the only other team in the top half is Detroit, who is 6th and sinking (they’re hitting .244/.314/.359 as a team after the All-Star break, and their lineup looks every bit of it).
And it’s not like Jackson’s opponents are representative of the team’s road to October. The Sox actually have a difficult September ahead of them. Jackson is set to miss the Twins three times, the Yankees and the other series with the Red Sox, too.
There are two ways of looking at this, and it depends how long you wish to bemoan what still looks like a very iffy trade:
The “que sera sera” crowd: Kenny Williams put the Sox in a prime position to maximize winning the eminently winnable games. It will be a disappointment if the Sox don’t go at least 8-3 in these games. If Don Cooper needs more than a week to make the changes he thinks are necessary, the waiting period isn’t going to hurt that much.
The “I still hate it” crowd: Williams spent his best prospect on a guy who will face only one truly formidable foe the rest of the way, when Hudson probably could have posted a winning record against this sad bunch.
Staying in the present, Jackson made a successful first step, and not just for himself. His victory secured at least a split on the road against Detroit, and right now the Tigers need to win these kinds of series in order to have a shot at climbing back into contention.
****************************
Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*Pitch f/x had difficulty differentiating Jackson’s slider from his changeup, which is an indication of how weak his slider was. But J.J. notes that he was throwing more changeups than usual, too.
*Mark Kotsay must be the Robert Boyle of the White Sox:

“Having a lefty in the middle of the lineup right now for us is good for a different reason,” said Guillen, pointing out how Kotsay breaks up a right-handed-dominant middle of the order. “Personally, the numbers out there for Kotsay [are not what] he deserves.
“You can ask his teammates, you can ask [hitting coach] Greg Walker. He should have better numbers than what he has. He went through tough times with people making plays on him. That happens all year long. I’m not making an excuse. He swings the bat good. He’s hitting tough luck from the beginning.”

I’d like to feel sympathy for Kotsay. I would. But right now, he has a strenuous battle ahead of him just to get to replacement level by the end of the season.
*Chris Sale is Peavy-pumped: “I’m going to show up at the park, be there for pregame, go out there for BP (batting practice), throw a little bit, and if my name gets called, hey, go out there and give ’em hell.”
*Speaking of raising hell, Guillen thinks Carlos Quentin is going to unleash his wrath on the Orioles.
*Tdogg at South Side Sox posted his July review.
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Minor league roundup:

  • Jacksonville 7, Birmingham 5
    • Eduardo Escobar went 2-for-3 with a homer, a walk and three RBI. He also dropped down a sac bunt.
    • Christian Marrero was 1-for-5.
    • Justin Greene singled, walked and struck out twice.
  • Wilmington 9, Winston-Salem 5
    • Josh Phegley went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
    • Jose Martinez wore the collar, striking out twice.
    • Jon Gilmore went 1-for-4 with an RBI.
  • Kannapolis 4, Greensboro 2
    • Andre Rienzo was good again: 6 2/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Both runs came on a homer.
    • Kyle Colligan singled, walked and struck out over four trips tot he plate.
    • Tyler Saladino went 1-for-3 with a walk and a double.
    • Nick Ciolli went 0-for-4 with a K.
  • Great Falls 6, Missoula 2
    • Ross Wilson doubled, walked and struck out over four ABs.
    • Andy Wilkins went 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI.
    • Starting for Missoula, David Holmberg: 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.
  • Charlotte OFF
  • Bristol OFF
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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

Articles: 3791
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willardmarshall

the robert boyle who went 0-for-4 on oscar night, right?… although i’m sure ozzie would argue just as vehemently for the robert boyle remembered as ‘the father of modern chemistry.’

phastphil

I like Jackson’s demeanor – he didn’t seem to get frustrated when things didn’t go our way. If the Sox were able to complete a couple of tough double plays last nights game would have been a piece of cake. Lucky or good on Cabrera’s fly out? Maybe, but I’ll take it.

David

Agreed he got lucky on a couple of pitches, esp. the Cabrera AB that Jim pointed out. However, I’m encouraged by the strike ratio (72%), groundball ratio (63%) and K/BB of 6.
I had a huge issue with the Alexei 2nd base call which turned out to be a PK error. I didn’t think he touched the bag. However, the trend of umpires giving the benefit of the doubt when the SS or 2B is “in the vicinity” of the base creates a situation like this. If they weren’t so lax with these calls most of the time, perhaps Alexei wouldn’t have even tried the relay to first. Instead, he might have gotten his balance and then stepped on 2nd.
Last night enforced why I’ve never liked that umps typically “give” that call.

knoxfire30

Anyway I draw it up, at the time of the trade this is still the 2nd worst trade in KW history behind the Swisher for betemit and garbage.
Edwin Jackson had a great stat line, however he wasnt really impressive at all. Very hittable, hanging his slider, no real third pitch and a fastball that is hard but pretty damn straight. Why is this guy a better pitcher then Danny Wright? (ok some exaggeration but… im worried)
Mark Kotsay and his 15% line drive rate can suck my balls, this guy sucks. And all the manager and teammate support in the world cant change that. Is kenny williams the only guy with his damn head on straight, we have nothing from the left side right now, AJ has lost it, Kotsay is garbage, with guys on its up to Vizquel and freaking Pierre to drive in runners from the left side, no wonder the sox were all over dunn and are kicking the tires on carlos delgado

mechanicalturk

No need to worry about lefties actually producing, Teahen will be back soon. Problem solved!

knoxfire30

i dont know if i should laugh or cry at that post

soxfan1

I still like the trade for Edwin!! If you ignore the money side, it’s a great deal that may help us win the division in 2010 & 2011. We will also be tougher in the playoffs. Hey it’s only money!!

bigfun

Ignoring the money is probably one of the single worst things an MLB front office can do.

vince

The Sox are a big-market team and actually spend like they are.
The Sox have what,the 6th or 7th highest payroll in baseball?
Show me one other team in the top 8 that isn’t overpaying for someone, or paying for dead weight on their roster.
Obviously, we’d all like to see more efficient use of payroll resources. But the Sox spend enough where they can afford to overpay.

bigfun

Yes, the Sox have done a better job than some of their payroll peers (Mets, Cubs) at this. But the 21st, 27th, and 29th payroll teams all have a better chance of making the playoffs than the White Sox do this year. Those teams are overpaying for almost no one right now.
If the Sox were a bit more efficient in their roster construction over the past several years, they would be on pace for a 100+ season and cruising to an easy ALC win.
So can the Sox “afford” to overpay? I guess so, in the sense that they can do it and maybe still make the playoffs. But it is tangibly, measurably reducing their ability to do so.

soxicano

Little room for criticism on this trade. Yes we lost a pitching prospect but we gained a young proven major league pitcher. Edwin Jackson was an All Star last season with a pennant race Tigers team, pitched a no hitter this season, and was part of a successful Tampa pitching rotation on the 08 World Series team. Most impressive to see him pitch out of jams last night, in high pressure situations, in the middle of a pennant race, with lots of doubt cast over him because of his numbers up to the game last night. This guy with all this pressure could have imploded like Alex Rios did when he came over last year. Instead, he was electric when he needed to be. That spark is contagious and this Sox team really needed to feel it from their 5 guy in the rotation. I liked Danny Hudson but talk about a kid who feared major league hitters. Edwin looked fearless and really challenged hitters. He may be on the verge of surge himself.

bigfun

That actually leaves quite a lot of room for criticism.

knoxfire30

if by proven, you mean proven to be bad at pitching then yes we acquired a proven starter

dudeman

Oh for God’s sake, Knox…
I have my own reservations about this trade, but let’s not get carried away. The kid (just 26) has some nice tools and has had some stretches of impressive success. No doubt the jury is still out and the 8 million in 2011 MIGHT end up being a bit of an over-pay, but take a deep breath.
“Proven to be bad at pitching”!?!? Take it back!!!!

marshlands

“Pitched a no hitter this season”
I watched that entire game. He didn’t even look good at all. 8 walks and 150 pitches makes that one of (if not) the worst no-hitter of all time.
Oh, and then there’s all those other times he was terrible.
I’m down to wait and see, though. Kenny has been shrewd and impossibly brilliant about trading young pitchers, and Edwin’s got some good heat. Loving that schedule.
Oh, and also, MARK KOTSAY BITCHES!!!!

JJ

My favorite thing about Jackson’s no-hitter: his FIP went up thanks to it.

ricksch

Sox are looking at Degaldo? Didn’t want Thome. Wouldn’t pay for Damon. Now we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel with a guy who’s been hurt and out of baseball for over a year! Hope it’s just a rumor. We may as well leave Kotsay in there.
Today has to be the end for Jenks as the closer. How many more times does this have to happen? Raburn??? Give me a break Bobby.

evenyoudorn

Talking Jenks in another forum, and we may have solved the mystery. He’s a vampire.
Night:
25G, 6R, 2.28 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 3.38 K/BB
Hitters: 218/284/287 (572 OPS)
Day:
18G, 16R, 8.04 ERA, 1.92 WHIP, 2.75 K/BB
Hitters: 324/395/441 (836 OPS)
(2010 numbers from BR)

bigfun

Haha. Tony Pena has a 2 K/BB during the day and a .87 at night. I can feel a platoon coming on…