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Saturday, July 16, 2011
Jackson puts it all together for shutout

By Doug Padilla

DETROIT -- When it comes to pitching performances in the second half, Chicago White Sox pitchers will be looking up at the bar Edwin Jackson set Saturday.

The White Sox’s right-hander isn’t typically associated with being effective, but the third shutout of his career came on just 101 pitches. The last time he recorded a shutout was his June 25, 2010 no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays and that came on a less-than-tidy 149 pitches.

“It was just keeping the ball down,” Jackson said after the Sox's 5-0 win over the Detroit Tigers. “I like quick outs and double plays. Put someone on, try to make them hit the ball down.”

Edwin Jackson
White Sox starter Edwin Jackson threw a complete game shutout against the Tigers on Saturday.
Just how perfectly low in the strike zone was Jackson on Saturday? He recorded 18 of his 27 outs on ground balls and walked only two batters.

“When Edwin is around the plate, that’s the kind of pitcher you will see,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Every time Edwin is erratic and struggles to find the plate, he has a short game. I tried to take him out in the ninth, but he wanted to go out there. He deserved to go out there and earn it.

“He was outstanding. It was great to see, especially with their lineup. That lineup is a scary lineup and he threw a pretty good game.”

A free agent at the end of the year, Jackson’s expensive contract and the fact that he isn’t likely to be re-signed by the White Sox make him a potential candidate to be traded at the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

So does an outing like that make him more valuable to possible suitors or more valuable to the White Sox since Jake Peavy's health remains in question?

The answer is that it is a little bit of both, obviously, but the Peavy factor makes him a better candidate to remain with the White Sox.

“I was just trying to attack hitters,” Jackson said. “They are a pretty aggressive team, a team you can’t afford to fall behind in the count to. They have a lot of great hitters and anybody one-through-nine can take you deep. They have some bangers out here.”

It still remains to be seen what Jackson shows up when he takes the mound at Cleveland next weekend. His victory over the Tigers on Saturday was just his second since beating the Dodgers on May 22.

And it was just his second victory against a division opponent all season. The other came April 2 in his season debut against … the Indians at Cleveland.