That’s not to say Jackson had received little support of late. He hadn’t received any. Zilch.
The White Sox had not scored a run when Jackson was on the mound since April 12. He went four starts without getting any help, with the trend finally bottoming out last Tuesday when the Twins’ Francisco Liriano threw a no-hitter.
It doesn’t get any more helpless than that.
So on Monday against the Angels, the White Sox went to work early and often. Gordon Beckham hit a two-run home run in the second inning as the White Sox offense erupted. Yet, just to be sure, Jackson fired seven scoreless innings anyway.
Did the White Sox owe it to Jackson?
“You always want to get runs; we don’t think o fit like that,” Beckham said. “If we were to come into the clubhouse and say, ‘Last game we didn’t get Edwin any runs,’ I think that puts more pressure on us. I think if we go out there and do what we’re capable of doing, most of the time we’re going to do what we want to do and win. It was obviously nice to get him a win. We need to get everybody wins, whoever starts that day.”
Jackson wasn’t pointing any fingers. Sure the it was tough to be on the losing end of a no-hitter, especially since he gave up one run over eight innings. But looking at his three previous starts before that he had given up a combined 17 earned runs.
“It doesn’t matter if they score or not,” Jackson said. “If you give up eight, the chances of you winning are slim.”
The key for Jackson on Monday was simply to throw strikes. He had just one walk. Three times this season he has walked at least four.
“I mean, it’s just throwing every pitch for strikes period,” Jackson said. “Being aggressive, not walking people, making pitches when I need to. It was a great effort. Me and [catcher] A.J. [Pierzynski] were pretty much on the same page the whole night and the offense, what can you say? They scored tonight and came out swinging early.”
With Jackson now rewarded for his patience, the offense now has one more guy to support. Danks, who pitches Tuesday against the Angels, has a 3.83 ERA but is 0-5.
“We've been doing that a lot of guys especially to Edwin, Edwin and Danks,” Guillen said about the lack of runs. “We’re very flat when Edwin's pitching. When you score some runs you have chance to get away with more mistakes. When you’re in a 1-0, 2-0 game you have to pitch careful and you make more mistakes.”