We knew going into this season, the Tampa Bay Rays’ offense would take a step back. But now without Evan Longoria in their lineup, they have taken a step back and fallen out the window.
The latest pitcher to go through them like a Ginsu knife through a can of soda was Chicago White Sox RHP Edwin Jackson. The only difference was the Rays’ lineup was easier to shred than the can of soda.
Jackson struck out 13 Rays over eight innings, while allowing only one run on four hits in the White Sox 5-1 victory. He threw 119 pitches and threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 29 batters he faced.
Jackson owned Matt Joyce, who he struck out three times. But hey, at least Joyce saw pitches during his four AB’s. That will get him some points in the sabermetrics community.
The key pitch for Jackson on Thursday was his slider. Jackson threw 49 of them and got an impressive 13 swings and misses.
Jackson’s increased use of his slider has made him an effective pitcher with the White Sox. Jackson is throwing his slider around 38 percent of the time in a Chicago uniform.
No other pitching coach before Jackson came to the White Sox had Jackson throwing his slider more than 27 percent of the time.
The increased use of the slider has really paid off, because Jackson looks like a stud with the White Sox.
In 13 starts, Jackson has a 3.03 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 48.5 percent Groundball Percentage, and has averaged 9.8 K’s/9.
Jackson is a free agent at the end of this season. If he keeps pitching like this, he will earn himself a big-time payday this offseason.
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