But Jackson, unlike Zimmermann, won’t be needed during the game’s first nine innings, Johnson said. In Game 4, four of the Nationals’ five right-handed relievers were used and Johnson wanted to stay away from most of them on Thursday. He needed a seventh inning reliever to bridge starter Ross Detwiler to the back end of the bullpen, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen, so he turned to Zimmermann. Johnson rested Christian Garcia and Ryan Mattheus on Thursday, and had Craig Stammen warming in the sixth but didn’t use him in the game.
Jackson, the lone Nationals starter with playoff experience before this October, is slated to start Game 2 on Monday of the National League Championship Series should the Nationals advance. So if he isn’t used in Friday’s game, Jackson would still have to throw to stay on his regular five-day schedule.