We've seen this script before. Don Cooper gets ahold of a dynamic yet ineffective arm, makes one simple adjustment to his mechanics and Voila! new pitcher.
Step one is pretty simple. It goes like this: Throw.Strikes.
While it's far too soon to proclaim Edwin Jackson as another Don Cooper success story, Jackson took a solid step on Wednesday night. It wasn't pretty for the first few innings as Jackson had to escape a number of jams and got away with more than a couple hanging sliders, but he appeared more comfortable in his new Throw It Over The Plate And See What Happens approach as the game wore on.
And perhaps that's the most impressive thing about Jackson's outing; his control -- the ability to hit his spot within the strikezone -- wasn't impeccable, but by simply putting his plus stuff over the plate he found a way to get outs. I'm not going to draw any sweeping conclusions from one start -- he did have two starts of 7+ innings and 0 walks already under his belt this season -- but let's just say that the potential is there for a big turnaround.
Jackson's sterling debut was somewhat spoiled by a 4-pitch walk to Miguel Cabrera to begin the 8th inning -- a run that would come around to score -- but he still finished with 69 of his 95 pitches thrown for strikes (almost too high of a percentage, but that's somewhere around step 2 or 3). We'll let him get to game two or three before demanding too much of him
A 1-2-3 Jenksgiving closed things out as the Rays tied the Twinks in the 9th... and the villagers were happy and well fed.