When Edwin Jackson was acquired last year, I could only imagine the magic Don Cooper would work with the inconsistent right-hander. And magic he worked. Jackson made 11 starts with the Sox, 7 of them were considered quality. Other than 1 start vs. the Royals, Jackson was everything the team wanted.
Fast forward to this year, and he is back to being the inconsistent pitcher 4 other teams came to know, and not love. Recently, against Minnesota and the Angels, Jackson looked dominant, pitching a combined 15 innings allowing just 1 earned run.
Monday against Texas, Jackson looked lost. He couldn’t find the strike zone with consistency, throwing 111 pitches, only 66 of them for strikes. 2 of those pitches were of the wild kind. The look on Ozzie Guillen’s face was exasperation. Here’s a guy who has all the talent in the world, but can’t get it together on a consistent basis.
Jackson is a free agent after the season, and is guaranteed a contract that’ll pay him about 12 million a year. Wherever he goes, I promise you one thing, some starts you will be singing his praises, while others you will be throwing the remote at the TV.
And it really was all bad for Jackson, who committed and error as well. When it rains, it pours.
Offensively, the Sox made me nervous again. This time it took them until the 5th inning to get their first hit. They only had 4 more as they were shutout 4-0. Colby Lewis is a fine starter, but not a guy who should be handcuff a Sox team with ease, not with the talent on their roster.
The Rangers stole another 3 bases against AJ Pierzynski. Pierzynski still calls a great game, and is one of the top defensive catchers in the majors, but he doesn’t thrown out many runners. This season he has only gunned out 4 of 35 possible base stealers. That means 31 guys have taken 2nd or 3rd base on the Sox catcher. I would say home, but they did get Coco Crisp last Friday.
I remember about 5 springs ago, Chicago Sun Times writer Joe Cowley challenged Pierzynski, saying he could steal a base on him.. It was all part of a series he was doing for the paper. Pierzynski agreed, and threw out Joe 4 times—easily. It’s been a few years, but AJ still has a great arm, it’s unfortunate that major league guys are faster than newspaper guys.
In the spring, Brent Morel was touted for his defense. His offense would be nice, but his defense would keep him in the lineup. I don’t think the Sox expected 6 errors out of Morel in 29 games. In the spring, I never saw his miss a ball or make a bad throw, so the half a dozen E’s are mind boggling.
Tuesday, Morel showed why he is a human vacuum at 3rd, making a number of fine plays, including a backhander that few ML 3rd baseman could make.
He also showed he could swing the bat a little, hitting his 4th major league home run to tie the game at 3 in the 5th inning. Morel, and most of the Sox, are scraping along, I hope when the weather heats up, they will as well.
For the 2nd time in a week, the Sox winning run scored on a wild pitch. Last week Kevin Jepsen of the Angels threw a WP on an intentional walk. Tonight, Cody Eppley threw a wild pitch, allowing Gordon Beckham to score the eventual winning run. Sox win 4-3
Sergio Santos gets save number 6, and he still has a zero ERA. This is nothing unusual for Santos, who didn’t give up his first earned run until early May last year. Hard to believe that the Giants, with their great pitching, gave Santos back to Chicago for future considerations in 2009. I say back, because the Sox gave Santos to the Giants 11 days earlier. Who knew Santos would be as good as he is. A non hitting shortstop, to a key bullpen guy, maybe even a dominant closer.
Welcome back Dallas McPherson. McPherson, who once was the hottest prospect in the Angels farm system, until injuries derailed him, hasn’t been in a major league game in nearly 3 years. He came up to the Sox because Mark Teahen was DL’d with an oblique injury. He had a strong spring, avoiding injury, while hitting and playing strong defense at two positions. With his single in the 8th inning tonight, he picked up his first major league hit since September 10th, 2008. Don’t know how long he’ll stick with the Sox, but since their closer is a former shortstop, anything is possible.
Tomorrow, Jake Peavy gets the Indians in his first home start in almost a year. Sox sure could use a sweep.