Edwin Jackson's Gutsy Start for the St. Louis Cardinals in Milwaukee

John BowenContributor IIIAugust 3, 2011

MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 03: Edwin Jackson #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on August 3, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

On Wednesday, newly acquired St. Louis Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson threw almost 120 pitches, surrendering 14 hits, 10 runs (eight earned) while taking the loss against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee, a man with an OPS of .607 coming into play, cranked three home runs against the righty, driving in five.

All in all, not a good pitching performance for Edwin Jackson in his second outing as a Cardinal.

However, manager Tony La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan have every reason to be happy with their newly acquired starter’s performance on Wednesday.

The reason?

He soaked up seven innings, going deep into the ballgame.

Of course, the Cardinals would have loved a nine-inning shutout instead. But the biggest thing they needed was for Edwin Jackson to save their bullpen. The Cardinals pen had been overworked in the last week, with a big blow taking place in the 11-inning matchup the day before, when starter Jaime Garcia lasted just five innings.

It was clear early-on that Jackson didn’t have his best stuff…or even okay stuff. In the very first inning, he gave up a leadoff home run to Corey Hart and followed it up with the first home run of the day from Casey McGehee, a two-run shot. Jackson gave up another two-run shot to McGehee in the third inning.

Most pitchers would have had to fold in that situation. This failure would have cost the Cardinals precious innings from their already overworked bullpen as well as wins long after leaving Milwaukee.

Instead, Jackson trudged on for another four innings, amassing 118 pitches in a gutsy effort. He was the sacrificial lamb for his team that day. However, because of his efforts, the Cardinals will be more competitive as they open up a four-game set against Mike Stanton and the Florida Marlins in Miami starting Thursday night.