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Jackson Scuffles
2004-04-14 09:47
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Tuesday night, Edwin Jackson gave up a grand slam to ... Hiram Bocachica.

"Maybe I won't send him to face Barry Bonds this weekend," thinks Jim Tracy.

Jackson left before speaking to the press after the game. Las Vegas manager Terry Kennedy had positive things to say about Jackson, who allowed six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings, trying to battle his way through the rough inning, but also reminded us how young Jackson is (via the Las Vegas Review-Journal).

"He really is a very inexperienced professional pitcher. I had Kerry Wood and he had to work through it," said Kennedy, who managed Wood when the right-hander was with the Iowa Cubs. "Nobody is immune to the lessons on the ballfield."

Ironically, Joe Thurston, whose 2003 season we all hope Jackson is trying not to emulate, homered in the ninth inning Tuesday.

Look, we're all still excited about Jackson, and this was just one game. But Jackson's 2003 season didn't justify Jim Tracy's high expectations for him before Spring Training this year. Jackson was a 19-year-old pitcher who had some great games - and some not-so-great games.

He may earn a spot in the Dodger rotation before the year - or even the month - is through. I guess what bothers me is that now there is this almost unavoidable angst attached to him. Rather than viewing Jackson as someone who learning his trade - rapidly, in fact - we feel disappointment. And it's all so unnecessary.

I suppose I'm part of the problem. I just shouldn't have written about Jackson at all today. Let him study in proper obscurity.

As a postscript, even accounting for his Hiram homer, I think Edwin Jackson is making better use of his college-age years than Trevor Ariza. Hmm ... 42.6 percent from the field, 50.4 percent from the free-throw line, 6.5 rebounds per game for a Pac-10 also-ran? I guess the lure of minor-league basketball is strong.

* * *

In his first at-bat after I wrote that Adrian Beltre had not stuck out this season, Beltre swung and missed at strike three. Of course. However, it was his only swing and miss on a night that he also doubled. He has now whiffed at four pitches out of 97 this season.

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