Thursday, August 6, 2009

How Jackson Got His Groove Back

Photo: AP

This heavy work schedule is cutting into my blogging ability (though I suppose in the end, work is more profitable). When I got home, it was the bottom of the eighth inning and the Tigers had just finished scoring three runs that turned out to be huge. As a result, all I saw of Jackson was the hit batter and Adam Jones home run in the ninth, which I’m guessing is not reflective of how he pitched for the rest of the game. Apparently he found his offspeed pitches again and was able to outsmart the Orioles hitters by not letting them sit on the fastball like they did with Verlander. Another good sign is that Magglio got two hits again, including a home run, and both were on fastballs.

Today is the day-game wrap-up of this four-game series (How many hyphens can I put in one sentence?). Rick Porcello had the best start of his career against Cleveland last time out, going eight innings and only throwing 91 pitches. Hopefully he can keep up that mojo against the Orioles, a team that hasn’t seen him yet. He’ll be opposed by David Hernandez, who beat the Tigers in his major league debut back in May. There was a lot of grumbling about that at the time, but from an earned run average standpoint, he’s done a good job since then. Today is also the Major League debut of Alex Avila. According to Dan Dickerson on the radio last night, the plan is to have Avila catch all of Porcello and Galarraga’s starts, although I’m sure performance and opposing pitching matchups will have a say in that as well.

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