Friday, May 17, 2013
Jackson's struggles at Wrigley continue
By Bruce Levine
Edwin Jackson deserved a better fate Friday, but his Wrigley woes continued.
Edwin Jackson, who signed a four-year, $54 million contract with the Cubs last winter, continued to struggle at Wrigley Field on Friday despite turning in his longest performance of the season.
Jackson pitched into the seventh inning for the first time in 2013 before being lifted after allowing a go-ahead single to Mets starter and winner Matt Harvey as New York held on for a 3-2 win. Jackson is 1-6 in eight starts in Wrigley with an ERA above 8.00.
"There is nothing you can do about it," Jackson said. "Once you step on the field there is nothing you can do but compete.
"You take out all the work you have done in the previous days up to your start onto the field and compete. Adjustments are always there to be made."
Jackson said he has made a few subtle changes in his delivery.
"I did not necessarily make a change, I just tweaked a couple things," he said. "The changes allowed me to keep a steady movement and keep my hands moving a little bit. I have been feeling good. Tough luck today but we continue to battle."
After going 0-5 with two no-decisions in his first 7 starts, Jackson won his first game of the season on May 11 in Washington.
The Cubs had a chance to take their starter off the hook in the eighth inning trailing by a run. With one out and Darwin Barney on second base, David DeJesus singled to right field. Former Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd threw a perfect strike to catcher John Buck getting Barney by five feet. Third base coach David Bell took the blame for a bad judgment call.
"It turned out it wasn't a very close play," Bell said. "Obviously it was disappointing. It was the wrong decision."
And another losing decision for Jackson.
"He threw a good ballgame," manager Dale Sveum said. "(Bad luck ), because he has been so very pitch efficient in his last couple of starts. When I took him out he only had (91) pitches. He threw strikes and did a great job."