09/03/2009 11:03 AM ET
Jackson: Confidence never wavers
Right-hander focused on finishing the season strong
When people compliment me on the season I've had this year, I'm quick to point out that the season isn't over and that there is a lot of baseball left. For me, it's still too early to think about my season and what I've accomplished.
And since the season hasn't come to an end, my focus remains on improvement every time I pitch. If I do that, I can contribute to what out club is really trying to accomplish: getting to and winning the World Series.
What I will say about this year, though, is I'm happy to be following up my success from a year ago. To post back-to-back strong seasons does mean a lot to me. The way I look at it, having two good consecutive seasons lets me know that my hard work has paid off. It also shows consistency and that I'm learning the game. It also demonstrates maturity. The more innings you get as a pitcher, the more valuable experience you get.
Even though I had a so-called breakout season last year, it didn't really change my thinking going into Spring Training. My confidence level -- whether I'm performing good, bad, win, lose or draw -- remains the same as always. I've always had confidence; it's just that the results weren't always there. It will always be there regardless of whether I've pitched the worst game of my life or if I pitched the best game of my career.
This is my seventh season in the big leagues and, thinking back, I really don't know if I thought it would take me this long because I really didn't know what to expect. Breaking into the pro game, I wasn't a pitcher. I was a position player.
I also don't have any regrets. I look at everything as happening for a reason. Everything I've experienced has helped me become a stronger person.
Edwin Jackson is 11-6 with a third-in-the-AL 3.09 ERA over 27 starts for the first-place Tigers this season and earned his first trip to the All-Star Game. The 25-year-old right-hander had a breakout season with the defending AL champion Tampa Rays last season, going 14-11 with a 4.42 ERA before getting traded to the Tigers in December.