Edwin Jackson Tosses Whacky No-Hitter That Includes Eight Walks

June 26, 2010 – By John Ritter

If it had been any other day, the wild arrangement of pitches and eight walks might have startled the Arizona Diamondbacks pitching staff. It still did, actually, but was a lot easier to swallow when Edwin Jackson recorded the final out.

In one of the most peculiar cases of inaccuracy coupled with sheer dominance, Jackson completed this season’s fourth no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night, the second time Tampa has been on the losing end in a month.

Jackson fanned six on the night, and lifted the Diamondbacks to a 1-0 victory.

Adam LaRoche drove in the game’s only run in the second on a solo homer.

But the irregularity came in Jackson’s wildness, needing 149 pitches to finish the job and issuing eight free passes, the highest ever in a no-hit bid.

It’s also the highest of any nine-inning performance in the last five years.

He also hit a batter and slung a wild pitch.

“It’s one of those moments where you’re just caught up in the moment. It’s one of the craziest games I’ve had, especially the game starting off how it did. Not being able to find the strike zone with the fastball,” Jackson said. “Good thing I could throw the slider for strikes in any count. It just resurrected my game.”

Jackson’s feat came against one of his three former teams. He was cut loose by the Rays after the 2008 season, became an All-Star with the Detroit Tigers in 2009 and was traded to Arizona in the deal that sent Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees.

“It’s one of those bittersweet moments. You throw a no hitter and it’s against your old team,” Jackson added. “At least it’s with a crowd that you’ve had accomplishment with and you can do in front of someone who will appreciate it.”

“He’s a great athlete and a great kid. He’s one of the very few who can do that,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon added. “He threw 150 pitches and it’s rare to see that many walks and not score a run. Our guys are just pressing too hard.”

The biggest threat the Rays presented came the third when Jackson wakled the bases loaded, bringing his total to seven.

But a hotshot to third baseman Mark Reynolds was gobbled up and slung to home plate to get the lead runner. The inning ended on a Hank Blalock grounder.

All said, Tampa Bay’s Jeff Neimann probably pitched better in the loss, walking only two and striking out eight in 7 1/3 innings.

“For him it’s a great personal accomplishment. But for us … it’s not fun,” Niemann said. “I don’t want to see anyone do that against us, and I don’t think anyone else does either.”

The Rays have been no-hit twice this season, yet remain three games back of the Yankees for first place in the AL East. They are a 6/1 favorite, according to Bodog, to reach and win the 2010 World Series.

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