Sunday, May 10, 2009
Every Time I Read Stories About Edwin Jackson, I SighI know, there were probably contractual reasons why the Dodgers couldn't have kept Edwin Jackson (though I'm not sure the one about running out of options is true), but every time I read stories like this one in the Detroit News about him it just makes me sigh:
One thing changed in 2008 that Jackson -- and Tigers pitching coach Rick Knapp -- believes put him on track to throw strikes and become the brand of pitcher he has been with the Tigers.
It was during a pregame session of long-toss with pitcher James Shields in the Rays' outfield last summer that Jackson came upon something he found helpful: He raised his hands up, over, and beyond his head.
"That felt good," he yelled to Shields.
"Man," Shields barked back, "that's nasty. Keep doing it."
Jackson felt as if the hands shift kept him more in rhythm. But his teammates doubted he could make a change so extreme. They all but dared him to try it during his next start, a night later. Jackson went with it. And loved it.
So does Knapp, who worked with Justin Verlander on a similar shift of his hands during spring camp.
"It helps them create a rhythm," Knapp said, crediting Jackson with having an "imagination" that helps a pitcher "weed out what you can use and can't use.
"Pitchers constantly evolve," Knapp said. "What's really remarkable about Edwin is that he just started pitching, when you think about it. And a lot of what he's experiencing is trusting his stuff. Because his stuff is really good."
About That Kurt Streeter PieceI agree with the Sons.
Dodgers Lose In Extras: Giants 7, Dodgers 5 (13 Innings)I listened to the seventh through about the 11th of this game after leaving the Angels game, and was much pleased to see Casey Blake whack one out of the yard to tie things up; too bad Guillermo Mota isn't the flamethrowing SOB he used to be back when he was part of the heart-and-soul brigade trade. That makes the Dodgers 1-3 in the new, decidedly (so far) dreary post-Manny world.
A Brief Shout-Out To Our Sworn Enemies, The NorthronsI just now noticed the 34 on the mast at McCovey Chronicles. It's a sweet gesture, guys, and thank you kindly for it. Plus, I can't stop laughing at the caption for this.