09/28/2004 9:29 PM ET
Notes: Jackson looking for answers
Struggling starter may be left off postseason roster
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- One year after Edwin Jackson was a sensation on a team that fell short, he's a disappointment on a team in reach of a title.
|Edwin Jackson is in danger of being left off the postseason roster. (Matt Sayles/AP)
"Last year I did well and we were in second place. Now we're a first-place team," said Jackson. "It's a team game. It's not about me."
Jackson said his ineffective start Monday (3 1/3 innings, six earned runs) was the result of bad pitches, not a bad arm. He said the forearm injury that disabled him for nearly two months is healed.
"I just left pitches up," he said. "My problem before was walks. Last night, no walks, I threw strikes, but they weren't quality strikes and they got hit and I gave up just as many runs. It happens sometimes. It's not always smiles and laughs."
It was last year, when Jackson emerged as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball and beat Randy Johnson in his September debut. But this year he has been erratic, he's been hurt and a 6.75 ERA is an indicator.
Jackson came into Spring Training with a spot in the rotation to lose, but opened the season at Triple-A. He's won only two big league games this year and might not be part of a postseason roster should the Dodgers have one.
"I can't worry about that," he said. "What happens is going to happen regardless of how much I worry about it."
In addition to Jackson, based on recent use, Hideo Nomo and Hee-Seop Choi also are unlikely to be part of a postseason roster.
Turning point: As the Dodgers move close to a celebration, they are being asked increasingly when they realized that this season might be different in a very good way.
"It's hard to pinpoint a game, but we got hot in July and put a streak together in Arizona and came back with a couple crazy wins and it kept happening and all of a sudden you start realizing it's no fluke," said Shawn Green. "There's something special there."
Manager Jim Tracy said the "crossroads" in the season came a little earlier: around the time of his July 1 pregame meeting. His club had just lost eight of 10, which included a four-game sweep by the Giants in San Francisco. The Dodgers had fallen to third place, 3 ½ games out, three games above .500.
"A week or so prior we lost four in San Francisco and the suggestion was made that the wind would go completely out of our sails," he said. "We got together and talked about a lot of things and had a terrific month of July (21-7) and went 17-11 in August."
Lima Time to heal: Jose Lima, scheduled to pitch Thursday for the second time with a broken pitching thumb, threw his between-starts bullpen session and was beaming afterward.
"Oh, so much better," Lima said, referring to his Saturday start in San Francisco, when he was knocked out after allowing four runs in 3 2/3 innings and also took a grounder off the base of the thumb.
"Today, for the first time, I threw 100 percent, full speed. I let it go, man. Everything, the slider, the change, the sinker. I'm extremely happy."
Coming back: Monday night's comeback win was the 50th of the season, which leads the National League this year and is second most in franchise history after the 52 by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1953. Ten of the last 11 Dodger wins have been comeback wins. Of the Dodgers' 13 wins in September, relievers have eight of them and four of those are by rookie Yhency Brazoban.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.