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Austin Jackson's 7th inning homer tied the game.
Detroit, MI –On a 42 degree day in Detroit, the Tigers had the unenviable task of facing Rays rookie Matt Moore.  You know, the left handed phenom who brings it to the plate at 97 MPH?   For most of the day, the Tigers could get very little generated against the talented south paw. 

That was until Austin Jackson took Moore’s 106th and final pitch over the left field wall for a game-tying solo homer in the 7th.  The homer came on a 3-2 pitch and Jackson forced three full counts on the day, frustrating Moore who otherwise flashed the immense talent that makes him one of the game’s top prospects.

Much has been made of Jackson’s new approach this season.  Gone is the leg kick and a new two strike approach has transformed him into a tough out in the season’s first four games.  Jackson got off to a terrific start in the Boston series.  On the surface the 8-14 performance against the Red Sox was impressive, but what was more striking to me was Jackson’s ability to fight off some nasty two-strike pitches against a trio of really good pitchers at the top of the Red Sox rotation.

Jackson seems to be settling into the leadoff role in his third year.  Expect his strikeouts to decline and his walks and quality at bats to increase.  So far this season, Jackson is seeing almost five pitches per plate appearance.  That’s more than any other leadoff hitter in the American League.  Small sample, sure.  But it also illustrates that he is buying into the changes that he and Lloyd McClendon have made to his approach.  The trick is for Jackson to stay with it.  Success makes it easier to stay the course.

Jackson has already scored seven runs in four games this year.  He scored 103 two years ago.  With the lumber he has sitting behind him in the lineup, Jackson should not only eclipse that mark but he has a good chance to lead the league at season’s end.

 


Comments

Chad
04/11/2012 11:45

Good to see some hard work paying off.It was a shame so many chose to throw this kid under the bus after an average sophomore showing.It's like his rookie season meant nothing.Keep it up,AJ!Oh,by the way,just curious if you did the Operation Opening Day again this year?I know it's been a few years since you started it and if I am not wrong,the Tigers have won every opener since you started.Another win this year if you did indeed do it this year.With their record in home openers as of late,you might be forced to carry on the tradition.Seriously though,it is a great gesture and I'm sure means so much to those that receive the DVD.Keep up the great work and as your partner would say,"I see you,Mario!!"

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Mario
04/11/2012 12:34

Thanks Chad. Yes, Operation Opening Day is going to be available again this year.

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