When he was acquired in July, Edwin Jackson said he was happy to
try to help the St. Louis Cardinals return to the postseason.
After the Cardinals pulled off a stunning victory, the
right-hander gets his chance to make a big contribution Sunday
against the visiting Chicago Cubs.
Heading into Saturday, St. Louis (87-71) was three games behind
Atlanta in the NL wild card race with five games remaining for each
team. The Cardinals also trailed Chicago 1-0 heading into the ninth
inning, but a single and a trio of two-out walks brought home the
Cubs closer Carlos Marmol followed with a wild pitch, which gave
St. Louis a 2-1 victory and allowed it to take advantage of the
Braves’ loss in Washington.
“I think people have written us off several times, and I think
probably before today they probably wrote us off again,” pitcher
Kyle Lohse said. “To show we can gut it out, come back with a big
win like that, is huge.”
Whether St. Louis can cut its deficit to one game might hinge on
Jackson’s performance in the series finale. The right-hander was
acquired from Toronto on July 27 after he was traded from the
Chicago White Sox earlier in the day.
“It’s not a bad situation for me, to get thrown into the fire on
a team that’s definitely chasing a playoff berth,” Jackson told the
Cardinals’ official website two days after the deal. “It’s a chance
to go into the postseason, I’m happy to be thrown into the mix
Jackson (5-2, 3.73 ERA) has performed well in most of his 11
starts for St. Louis and has won his last three decisions. However,
he gave up five runs, nine hits and four walks in his last outing
during the Cardinals’ 11-6 win over the New York Mets on
Jackson fared better July 29 in his Cardinals debut, allowing
one run over seven innings in a 9-2 victory in his only previous
start against the Cubs (70-88) at Busch Stadium. Although he lost
at Wrigley Field on Aug. 20, he’s 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA in three
starts against the Cubs this season for St. Louis and the White
He’ll pitch opposite Randy Wells (7-5, 5.09), who has struggled
in his last two starts after a promising stretch.
The right-hander gave up five runs for the second straight game
Tuesday during a 5-1 loss to Milwaukee, his first defeat in 10
starts since July 28. Wells had won five consecutive decisions
before that outing and was 3-0 with a 1.26 ERA in four starts Aug.
“He just couldn’t control the damage,” manager Mike Quade told
the team’s website. “He’s been pitching well, and in some of his
starts he’s been able to do that.”
Wells is 2-2 with a 4.67 ERA in six career starts against the
Cardinals, with no record and a 5.68 ERA in two matchups this
Lance Berkman, batting .405 during a 12-game hit streak, is 3
for 12 with five walks in his career against the right-hander but 0
for 4 this season.
Albert Pujols, 2 for 5 with a home run versus Wells in 2011, has
reached base in 40 consecutive contests. The Cardinals first
baseman has batted .371 with 10 homers during the longest such
streak in the majors this season.
St. Louis has managed just three runs in the first two games of
this series, but Matt Holliday’s bat might help. The outfielder
returned Saturday after a nine-game absence due to a finger injury,
and his single sparked the ninth-inning rally, which improved the
Cardinals to 15-7 in September.
After Sunday’s game, St. Louis finishes the regular season with
three at Houston.
“We have to win every single game,” utility man Skip Schumaker