Tigers Need Edwin Jackson to Step Up


If the Tigers are going to beat the Yankees in the post-season, they are going to need first half Edwin Jackson back in the rotation.  But the Tigers are going to need him before then.  Detroit, up two games in the Central Division, still need to clinch and they have three games left against the friggin’ White Sox starting Friday night with Edwin Jackson taking the bump in game one.  Meanwhile, the Twins, who are nipping at the Tigers’ heels, have a three game series at the Metrodome against the Royals, arguably one of the worst teams in all of baseball.

A reasonable fan should not be shocked at how much Jackson has fallen off since the first half of the season.  He has never thrown this many innings (209 against 183+ last year and before that it was 161 IP), nor has he ever been even close to as dominant as he was in the first half of the season.  Before this season, and discounting the 22 innings he threw his first season in the bigs, his career best ERA was a 4.42 last year with the Rays.

According to ESPN, Jackson’s dip in numbers has a lot to do with his fastball getting hammered.  Take a peep at these discomforting numbers that charts the percentage at which hitters are chasing Jackson’s fastball since July, compared to the first half of the season:

April-June July-September
Chase Pct. 28.0 16.9
SLG .362 .561

And this is a direct affect of leaving the ball up:

April-June July-September
Ground ball pct. 50.7 33.9
HR 1 8

If you’re interested in seeing the difference in the core pitching stats between Jackson’s first half and second half, look no further.  Keep in mind that the first half of the season has more games than the second half:

First Half 7-4 2.52 35 97 2.77 .212 .345 10
Second Half 6-4 4.53 32 59 1.84 .286 .483 15

So as you can see Edwin Jackson hasn’t been the same during the second half of the season.  In September he was at his worst with a 5.08 ERA in six starts.  As if it couldn’t get any more bleak, Jackson hasn’t been very good against the White Sox this season either.  In three starts he is 1-1 with a 4.73 ERA, 9 walks, and 9 K’s.  Gee, I’m just bringing you all sorts of hope today, aren’t I?

I believe Jackson will step up when we need it most. Detroit desperately needs him to be that first half Jackson for the remainder of this season.  The way he forgets September and pitches on October 2nd will determine whether he has just one more start, two more starts, or even more left this season.  Hopefully, we’ll see Jackson toe the rubber tomorrow night for the first of at least four remaining starts in the month of October and potentially into November.


About Bob Biscigliano

Bob is a writer of s(p)orts