Have I admitted how wrong I was about that Matt Joyce-Edwin Jackson trade yet? I feel like I have, but just in case, consider this another mea culpa. (And I'm sure it won't be the last of this season.) Where would the Detroit Tigers be without Jackson in their starting rotation right now?
Erik Bedard pitched well for the Seattle Mariners, giving them a third straight quality effort as he held the Tigers to one earned run in seven innings, with eight strikeouts. (Bedard has 23 strikeouts in 19.1 innings on the season.)
But in a good ol' pitching duel, Jackson was just that much better, allowing just five Seattle hits in 7.2 innings. And though Jackson may have tired out by the eighth inning, when Jim Leyland finally took him out of the ballgame, he was still throwing hard, touching 97 m.p.h. on the radar gun. It was a dominant performance, and fortunately, Detroit's lineup provided just enough offense and didn't let him down.
Roar, young man, roar.
Seattle had a chance to take the lead in the fifth when Yuniesky Betancourt flied out to center field. Jose Lopez tried to score on the shallow fly ball, but Curtis Granderson gunned him down at the plate, getting the Tigers out of the inning and preserving Jackson's shutout. Detroit then took the lead in the sixth.
Granderson's throw was also a nice counterpoint to Friday's game, which also turned on Betancourt putting the ball in play and the Tigers trying to make an out at home plate. This time, Gerald Laird got a chest-high throw, instead of a ball in the dirt, and was able to tag out the runner.
Comment of the Night:
It was kind of a sleepy night (these west coast game times are a killer), but the Tigers' pitching - kudos also to the bullpen, who threw 1.1 innings of hitless baseball - made it much easier to snooze peacefully after this game.