Now, on to baseball.
Couple of things about Edwin Jackson that are probably worth pointing out. And read this fast, because the first inning is going to be of huge importance.
In 31 starts this year, Jackson had a 6.97 ERA in the first — an incredible number. He had a 9.00 ERA in the ninth, but he only pitched in that frame twice. So the first inning was, by far, Jackson’s worst. Next highest was 4.66 ERA in the fourth.
Last year, in the NLDS against Philadelphia, when Jackson pitched for St. Louis, he opened his start by allowing a double, a triple and a single that led to two runs. But then he shut down the Phillies for six innings and won the start that extended the Cardinals’ season.
One other thought: Jackson has a poor record with Kurt Suzuki behind the plate. After he was traded to the Nationals in August, Suzuki caught four of Jackson’s starts, and their ERA was 9.87. Stunning, considering how much credit Suzuki has received for being a key pickup. By contrast, Jesus Flores caught Jackson 20 times, and his ERA was 3.34.
Some stuff to chew on. Let’s play ball.