Former Ray Jackson seeks turnaround

ARLINGTON, Texas — Edwin Jackson's time on the mound during his three postseason starts has been trending downward to the point that if the sequence continues, the Cardinals right-hander and former Ray will be out of tonight's Game 4 virtually before he starts it.

In order, Jackson pitched six innings, giving up two runs in a 5-3 victory over Philadelphia in the NLDS; worked 4⅓ innings, allowing two runs in a 12-3 win at Milwaukee in the NLCS; and was lifted after two innings last Sunday at Milwaukee, having given up three homers and four runs in a 12-6 Cardinals victory.

On the down side, Jackson has given up eight runs and 16 hits in 12⅓ postseason innings. The upside is the Cardinals have won all three of Jackson's postseason starts.

"The last one was just a matter of not being aggressive enough," said Jackson, 28, who in the 2008 World Series was taken out of Tampa Bay's rotation and worked two innings of relief, giving up one run.

Manager Tony La Russa, who made the quick hook last Sunday, said Jackson "was trying too hard. He went out there and tried to be too perfect. It's hard to be perfect. I think it's a good experience for him."

Hamilton injury: Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton says he might be playing with a sports hernia. He will worry about it after the World Series. Hamilton said before Game 3 that he is speculating he has a sports hernia based on how it feels.

He missed a month during the 2009 season after surgery for what was eventually diagnosed as a sports hernia.

Hamilton says it's a nonfactor and that he is "going to get through it." The tests and any medical needs can wait until after the World Series.

His injury this postseason had been described as a groin injury.

DIRK'S TOSS: Mavericks star and NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki threw out the ceremonial — and slightly controversial — first pitch of Game 3. It was low and slower than the 80 mph he predicted on Twitter. "They told me to throw a four-seam fastball," he said, laughing. "I still don't understand what that means. But I think that's the grip I had. Or was it a two-seam fastball? I forgot."

GRIDLOCK: The Rangers and their NFL neighbors, the Cowboys, are doing all they can to spread the word to people with tickets today — leave early. The Cowboys kick off almost four hours before Game 4 of Rangers-Cardinals, just a few blocks away. Roughly 80,000 football fans will be leaving around the time 50,000 baseball fans will be arriving. "We encourage everyone to be patient and arrive early," the Cowboys wrote in a news release issued Friday.

Former Ray Jackson seeks turnaround 10/22/11 [Last modified: Sunday, October 23, 2011 12:26am]

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