First of all, the 32-year-old veteran has thrown a no-hitter -- on June 25, 2010, with the Arizona Diamondbacks. And he's always been hard to hit. Over the years, Jackson's problem has been command -- both walks and the inability to control his pitch count. His no-hitter, for example, came in an eight-walk, 149-pitch outing at Tampa Bay.
In two of Jackson's first five starts with the Padres, he has taken a no-hitter into the sixth inning. The last pitcher to do that in a single Padres' season was Chris Young, who did it three times in 2006. Before that, no Padres pitcher had taken two no-hitters into the sixth in the same season since 2000.
Jackson is 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA and has given up 27 hits over 32 1/3 innings in his five starts with the Padres. He is one of two Padres to go eight innings this season.
Travis Jankowski's nine-game hitting streak ended Thursday afternoon in Pittsburgh, although he reached base in a 10th straight game. Over the last 10 games, the Padres' leadoff hitter is 16-for-38 (.421) with five walks for a .488 on-base percentage. Adding in his three doubles and eight stolen bases, Jankowski has accounted for 32 bases in 43 plate appearances.
Two of those steals accounted for half the Padres' steals of home this season. The Padres' four steals of home this season are twice the number by any other Major League team -- which also means no other Major League has more steals of home than Jankowski.
Jankowski has 25 steals in 30 attempts this season. Jankowski has scored 13 runs in the last 10 games.
Speaking of hustle, Padres manager Andy Green has pulled two players -- Paul Clemens and Yangervis Solarte -- in the past week for not running to first. Green wants to establish "The Padres Way" and nothing sets the tone better than pulling players for a lack of hustle. Because if the Padres are going to succeed right now, it's going to be on hustle, taking extra bases and not giving outs away.
But for the policy to send the right message, it must be applied Evenly, no matter which player might be subject to discipline -- although pulling your cleanup hitter after one at-bat is sending a strong statement. In retrospect, Luis Perdomo should have also been benched for violating the same rule.
NOTES FROM THE SCOREBOOK
• When the Padres did not homer in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, it ended a run of 18 straight road games with at least one home run by the team. That is a Padres record for home runs in road games and is the fifth-longest such streak by a National League team. Much of the road streak was part of the Padres' 25-game overall streak with at least one homer, which stands as the Padres' record and is tied for the third-longest in Major League history.
• On Tuesday night, the Padres started six rookies against the Pirates -- outfielders Jabari Blash, Jankowski and Alex Dickerson, second baseman Ryan Schimpf, shortstop Jose Rondon and starting pitcher Luis Perdomo. It marked the second time this season that the Padres started six rookies, which is a Major League high for the season. The franchise record for most rookie starters in a game is eight, which was done three times during the club's inaugural season of 1969.