Tigers applaud Jackson's no-hitter
Former teammates know firsthand of hurler's stamina
ATLANTA -- The Tigers saw Edwin Jackson pitch four innings, sit through an hour-long rain delay, then pitch three more with better stuff than he had before the delay. They saw him hit 98 mph in his final pitches of a complete-game victory on a hot June night.
So when they heard that their ex-teammate expended 149 pitches to throw a no-hitter against the Devil Rays, another of his former teams, the Tigers had to be excused for not looking shocked.
"We saw that here last year," former rotation buddy Justin Verlander said of Jackson's endurance. "We know the ability's there. He's a horse. He goes out there and gets stronger as the game goes on."
That was a common theme as players collected their thoughts and took in the pitch count.
"That is the definition of a horse," catcher Alex Avila said. "He's a horse. He's a gamer. He's a throwback. You don't see many guys like that anymore."
In this case, he gave the D-backs a 1-0 win over the Rays, the type of low-scoring game that became all too familiar for him in Detroit with some of the lowest run support in baseball for the first few months of the season.
Jackson had his share of low-hit mastery as a Tiger. He scattered two hits over eight scoreless innings at Baltimore for a 3-0 win that, paired with a similar gem from Verlander a night earlier, helped the Tigers salvage a four-game series split. His complete-game win over the Angels was a four-hitter in which he allowed only a single after the opening inning.
"He's a good pitcher, tough," Carlos Guillen said. "I like him."
For all the attention given to his second-half struggles, especially once the Tigers decided to deal him, his first-half success became easily lost. For four solid months, Jackson ranked up right alongside Verlander among the American League leaders in several categories, including innings pitched. He rivaled the Royals' Zack Greinke in ERA for part of the summer.
The total effort earned Jackson his first All-Star selection last year, a recognition from players around the league for his efforts. Now that he's out west, his former teammates are still paying attention.
"I couldn't be more happy for the guy," Verlander said. "Great guy and a good teammate. I'm happy to see him go out there and have something like that, especially because he's had some tough-luck losses this year. It's nice to be able to go out there and be on the other side of one."
They couldn't watch it, since the Tigers were busy with their own game and the Major League debut of Andy Oliver. But they could appreciate it nonetheless.
"I just saw that," manager Jim Leyland said in his office after the game. "That's good. There's been a lot of [no-hitters] this year. That's quite an accomplishment against a real good team."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.