So maybe fatigue wasn't the reason behind Edwin Jackson giving up 10 runs combined in his last two starts. And is it that he's not throwing his slider well or that hitters know it's coming?
According to a story by John Lowe in today's Detroit Free Press, Tigers pitching coach Rick Knapp believes Jackson has been tipping his pitches. Knapp didn't reveal what exactly Jackson was doing to let hitters know that he'd be throwing a slider, but almost made it sound as if Tigers coaches had heard about it from outside sources.
"There's a word out that he's tipping pitches," pitching coach Rick Knapp said. "We think he's giving things away that keep guys from swinging at his really good slider, (which) starts as a strike and goes for a ball."
Knapp and Jackson think they ironed out the kink in a bullpen session over the weekend.
The two also worked on a mechanical issue that may have been causing some problems. Apparently, Jackson has been turning on his follow-through, rather than driving straight towards the batter. But the article didn't specify exactly how that was affecting Jackson's pitches. (Was that raising his pitches in the strike zone? Causing them to veer too far in one direction or the other? Etc.)
We'll see how those changes work against the Indians tonight. Jackson has been very successful against the Tribe this year, going 3-0 with a 2.74 ERA in four starts. But he was roughed up a bit in their last meeting, giving up four runs and nine hits in five innings.
UPDATE (10:45 a.m.): Jason Beck elaborates on this, saying that Jackson and Knapp worked on "his mannerisms over and over leading into his delivery." It's too bad we'll probably never know what exactly he was doing. A shrug of the shoulders? Taking a deep breath? Wiggling his glove? But the average observer or untrained eye might not even notice such a thing, anyway.