Q. Just your thoughts on the Cardinals; you know them pretty well, that offense, how good it is, even without Albert this year. What challenges do they pose?
EDWIN JACKSON: It's a great hitting ballclub. Guys one through nine, they can hit the ball real well. You have to come out, be aggressive and not let those guys get comfortable and the starters you pretty much set the tone for the bullpen, and if you can go out and you can dominate, you pretty much set the tone and allow the bullpen to come in and do their job and what they are capable of doing. It's imperative for us to go out and establish command and establish control of the game so that when we do hand it over to them, they can come in more comfortable.
Q. Can you go back to the decision to sign here, how you thought you would fit in in a place that seemed to have a pretty decent rotation setup already?
EDWIN JACKSON: Before I signed, you look at the team on paper, and you definitely see there's a lot of potential, a lot of energy. The team is a young team overall with the mix of veterans that they have; it's the perfect equation for this organization. I'm sure we've played beyond everyone's expectations, but inside the clubhouse, we definitely know what we are capable of doing. It's just a matter of going out on the field and doing it on a daily basis.
Q. You've faced these guys two times in the last six weeks; what, if anything, do you take out of those two outings to come into this start?
EDWIN JACKSON: You look at the first outing, I was aggressive, I was throwing strikes, I was in the strike zone, I was ahead.
The second start, I wasn't. It's pretty simple. It's all about throwing strikes and coming out establishing that you are going to throw strikes early in the game and make them want to swing. Like I said, if you get behind in the count to these guys and let them get comfortable and know you're going to come across the plate, they do what they get paid to do real well. Like I said, establish the strike zone early and that you are going to throw strikes in and out.
Q. Your team is so good and consistent all year in the starting rotation. How eager are you to reestablish that edge after a couple shakier starts?
EDWIN JACKSON: I feel like I'm the only with the experience in the rotations now. It's high expectations on me. I have high expectations on myself, as well.
This is one of those games where you go out and you try to lead by example. You know, we are 1 1. This is a big game for both teams. Both teams are trying to come out and win this game and go ahead in the series. You have to go out and at the end of the day, it's all about execution. You just have to go out and execute and slow the game down and relax and have fun.
Q. How much of an advantage is it to come home now and play these last three at home?
EDWIN JACKSON: We definitely have the home crowd on our side. But I mean, these guys, they have been here before. They are not going to give in regardless on the road or at home. They are going to come out and they are going to put up a fight, and it's known. We have to go out and we have to relax and we have to play our type of baseball that we have been doing all year to get us to this point.
It's just a matter of everybody going out and relaxing and everybody doing their part. No one has to be a hero. You just have to go out and play the game the right way and play baseball like we know how to play.
Q. I think over the past month, you've had some strong performances and some tougher ones. What can you do to even that out? I know you talked before about trying to do that. What specifically can you do? And second part, what exactly about the Cardinals' hitters is trouble? Is it avoiding them on the outer half? What exactly do they excel at?
EDWIN JACKSON: I mean, at this point, what you've done in the regular season, it's nonexistent you can go out and have a great regular season and have a bad post season and that's what everyone remembers.
At this point, it's what can you do now, and it's just going out and trusting in your abilities and having confidence in your pitches and having confidence in yourself and your team. You know, rely on that.
It's not one particular thing with these guys. Like I said, it's just a matter of not letting them get comfortable. Any team in the Major Leagues, if you let them get comfortable, they can hit. So you have to come out and be aggressive and mix up your pitches and keep them off balance.
Q. I know you and Ross kind of embraced the role of "the other guy" this season with a lot of attention on the other three. Do you or both of you view this time now as kind of the opportunity to show that you are not just sort of "other guys?"
EDWIN JACKSON: That was kind of the joke in the clubhouse. We kind of took it and ran with it. But inside, we all know what we are capable of. We have confidence that we can run four or five guys out there and get a win with either person that we put on the field. We kind of just took advantage of being "the other guys." It's just the guys that we have in front of us, I mean, they get a lot of attention.
Me and Ross, we don't really mind not being talked about a lot. At the end of the day, once you touch the field, you have to be the best pitcher that day. Everyone that touches the field has to be the ace that day, whether it's the starter whether it's your ace or whether it's your No. 4 starter. Once you hit the field, everyone is trying to be a No. 1 starter and you're trying to be the best pitcher that day.
Q. What is the night like before a start for you? Are you a guy who is looking at a lot of tape or do you not look at any tape? Do you visualize in your head? Do you want to be around people, do you want to be alone? What's the night like before a start for you?
EDWIN JACKSON: It's pretty much a normal day. Just relax. There's nothing special that I do or don't do. Watch TV, relax. I don't really look at any baseball film or anything like that until I get to the field.
But once you get to the field, then you start visualizing; you start getting ready, and about an hour before the game is when really I'm locking it in and I'm getting ready to go on the field.
Up until that point, I try to stay relaxed. I try not to think about too much because I don't want to bombard myself with information or overanalyze any particular situation. So I just try to stay as normal as possible.
Q. Your travels have been well documented, how many times you've been traded and what clubs you've played for. Is there any part of you this post season that would like to make a statement; that I would like to stick around; I'd like to have some stability?
EDWIN JACKSON: I mean, at this point, I'm out to help my team win. I'm not out to prove a point to anyone. I'm not out with a chip on my shoulder. I mean, everyone knows my capabilities. It's just a matter of being consistent with it. Like I said, it's not about me right now. It's about those 24 guys that's in the clubhouse and the nine guys that's playing behind me. It is definitely going out and you putting 110 percent for the team.
We fought all year. We have been through a lot of adversities and it would be nice if we would be able to come out with a positive outcome in this post season.
Q. Davey has been through this with four different teams, bringing teams to the post season. What is it about Davey that connects with young players with veteran players and gets teams to this point?
EDWIN JACKSON: I'm not sure about the other teams, but with this team, he has a young team, and when you're a manager of a young team, it definitely takes a lot of patience. There's going to be times where the team is going to make mistakes, youthful mistakes that you learn over time that come with experience. So it's just a matter of being patient and allowing guys to learn how to play the game and allowing everyone to come into themselves and form into the player that they are capable of being. He's done a great job of that, of letting us play and letting us find ourselves in the game.
Q. How important will the first inning be for you to make sure that you're under control and keeping the pitch count low and having this solid start to the game?
EDWIN JACKSON: The first thing is going to be just as important as the first or fifth inning. Every inning you have to treat like it's the ninth inning and you definitely want to come out and you want to get in a rhythm as early as possible and keep it rolling in as positive direction. Every inning in post season baseball, every inning is like the ninth inning. You want to come out and you want to be the best pitcher; if they give up one, you want to give up zero and if they give up two, you want to give up less than two. You just give up less runs than the opposing pitcher.