It's not yet time to panic if you're a Texas Rangers fan, just like it's not yet time to celebrate if you're a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Tony La Russa is giving Edwin Jackson the start in Game 4 of the World Series, and rightfully so, as he's definitely a better pitcher than Jake Westbrook.
Still, Jackson isn't anybody to be afraid of.
Jackson has made three starts in the postseason so far, one in the NLDS and two in the NLCS. His lone NLDS start, Game 4, was the only start of the three where he escaped the fifth inning. In that game, Jackson went six innings, giving up two runs on five hits, walking one and striking out four. Jackson managed to induce 10 ground balls that game too, which almost certainly helped his success in taming Philadelphia's lineup.
His NLCS starts, though they came in wins for St. Louis, were awful. Jackson started Game 2, in Milwaukee, and gave up only two runs, but did give up seven hits and a walk in four and a third innings. In Game 6, despite being staked to an early 5-1 lead, he lasted just two innings, giving up four runs on four hits, including three home runs.
Jackson has faced the Rangers once this year, when he was a member of the Chicago White Sox. Jackson gave up four runs on 11 hits and issued three walks in just five and a third innings. Not exactly ideal results for Jackson.
Expect to see lots of sliders from Jackson tonight. He used the slider 33.7% of the time in the regular season. In his only good start of the postseason against Philadelphia, Jackson threw his slider 36 times out of his 77 pitches that he made.
If Jackson is leaving his slider over the plate, expect Texas to slug the ball all over the place, much like the Brewers did last Sunday against him. While the Cardinals dismantled the Rangers last night, Tony La Russa still got next to nothing out of starting pitcher Kyle Lohse. Lance Lynn will almost certainly be unavailable tonight for the Cardinals after throwing 47 pitches.
Much like the Rangers need Holland to give quality innings tonight, the Cardinals need Jackson to. Frankly, I'd expect tonight's game to be another high scoring affair, with both managers going to the bullpen prior to the sixth inning.