Edwin Jackson will just beat you himself. More specifically, he'll pretty much beat the Baltimore Orioles by himself.
Jackson showed right away that the O's wouldn't get to him early, as they did with Justin Verlander and Jarrod Washburn the past two nights. After a scoreless opening frame, he didn't allow another Orioles hit for the next five innings. Whatever had been missing from Jackson's game in his past two starts was definitely back tonight. He was nasty.
Unfortunately, the Tigers' lineup was making Jeremy Guthrie look almost as good, despite him not having anywhere near the kind of stuff Jackson was throwing. Detroit only got one hit of their own until the fifth inning.
But when Magglio Ordonez finally broke through, he made sure it counted. Guthrie grooved a fastball right down the middle of the plate, and Maggs did something we haven't seen too often from him this season. He jumped on it. Turned on it. And whipped that ball over the left-field bullpen.
That was Ordonez's first home run off a right-handed pitcher since April 25, when he took Jamey Wright deep. (This one didn't take too long to look up, given Maggs's home run total.)
From there, Jackson allowed only one Baltimore hit through the eighth inning. And then it finally occurred to the Tigers' hitters that they should get him some more runs. Maybe Orioles manager Dave Trembley should get an assist on this, though. I can't wait to read why he put Ty Wigginton in at shortstop for Cesar Izturis. That decision may have cost the O's at least one run, if not two.
Brandon Inge and Adam Everett both knocked singles to left field, one of which you could argue a shortstop with better range (such as Izturis) would've scooped up. And both runners ended up scoring on a two-out single from Placido Polanco. The Tigers had so much fun doing that, they decided to do it some more. Singles from Clete Thomas and Miguel Cabrera brought home a fourth run, giving Jackson the biggest since... okay, we'll get the BYB research team on that. But I bet he hasn't carried a 4-0 lead since May.
Ironically, that little scoring outburst probably prevented Jackson from pitching his second complete game of the season. Sitting in the dugout while the Tigers were building on that 1-0 lead left Jackson a little bit sluggish, and it showed when he first hit Nolan Reimold with a pitch, missed badly with two sliders to Adam Jones, and then left a big, fat fastball up in the strike zone that Jones launched out of the park for a two-run homer.
That was really the only blemish on an otherwise outstanding night. Jim Leyland admitted after the game that he got caught up in Jackson's pitching brilliance, as well. It was the right decision to let him finish off his masterpiece, he said. But it was a mistake to put him back in after he sat that long, Leyland acknowledged, and he should've handed the game over to Fernando Rodney.
I'm guessing all of that was forgotten, however, amidst the standing ovation Jackson received as he walked off the field.
Comment of the Night:
He’ll have to ask JV or Rick what that symbol means.