"Today's game was just very disappointing and embarrassing," Jackson said after allowing nine runs in 1 1/3 innings. "When your club is in a pennant race and you have a game like that, it definitely leaves a bitter taste in your mouth that you did absolutely nothing to give your team a chance to win."
What was the major issue tonight? You name it.
"It was just lack of rhythm, lack of everything," Jackson said. "It felt just like it looked."
The Cardinals got a few breaks in the first inning. Ryan Zimmerman committed an error on a slow chopper, and a runner reached on a fielder's choice when Ian Desmond's throw to second was too late to force the runner at the bag.
That led to St. Louis putting up five runs in the first, but Jackson wasn't about to blame his struggles on a few softly-hit balls that ended up going against him.
"At the end of the day, I was behind in pretty much every count, so regardless of whether those balls are hit well or not, you have to do a better job of throwing strikes," he said.
How does a starter bounce back from an outing like tonight, especially with the playoffs so close?
It's easy, Jackson says.
"Short-term memory, man," he said. "It's not the first game. Just shake it off. I'm not dead from this game, it just definitely leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. But I'm not going to go jump off a bridge or anything because of the game."
The Nationals have seen what Jackson can be when he's on, and they know they'll need him in the postseason. That's why Adam LaRoche made a point to have a few words with Jackson after his outing came to an end.
"I said, 'Go inside and totally forget about this one. Act like it didn't happen,' " LaRoche said. "That was a beating, there. But we're obviously watching the scoreboard, and the Braves finally lost a game this month, so I guess we can take that as a positive."