The Washington Nationals finished the regular season with a 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies to earn the best record in the majors.
Edwin Jackson, who was on the mound for the win, is the only starting pitcher on the Nats roster with playoff pitching experience and knows once the post-season begins, regular season records mean nothing.
Jackson joined the Holden and Danny Show on Thursday after an impressive performance against the Phillies the night before in which he pitched six innings and only gave up one earned run.
One of the few pitchers on the staff with postseason experience, he discussed what the Nats can look forward to in their first playoff run since moving to D.C. in 2005.
“We have to understand that nothing is over, we still have a big series and more to accomplish this season,” Jackson said.
In 2008 Jackson pitched for the Tampa Bay Rays who ultimately lost to the Phillies in the world series. Last season he won the whole thing with the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the two teams the Nats’ could face in the NL division series.
“(The Cardinals) have the motivation, and they know what it’s like to win,” Jackson said. “Once you know that feeling, you want to feel it again and you have that motivation.”
St. Louis will be facing the Atlanta Braves in a one game playoff to determine squares off against the top seeded Nats’. Atlanta swept Washington in mid-September and Jackson warns that their teams’ depth should not be taken lightly.
“They have hitters one through eight and a pretty good pitching staff as well,” Jackson said.
Before Wednesday, he had been held without a win since September 4th against the Chicago Cubs. The experienced righty knows exactly what he needs to do to keep up his recent success.
“It’s all about coming out and attacking the strike zone,” said Jackson. ” I need to have low walk rates, and high strikeout rates. I need to come out throwing strikes and keep them guessing.”
A free agent after this season, Jackson says he wouldn’t be opposed to returning to the Nationals in 2013.
“It’s a great group of guys here, and if I end up here long term it wouldn’t be a bad fit for me,” said Jackson.