Friday, June 14, 2013
Jackson makes use of run support
By Matt Ehalt Special to ESPNChicago.com
NEW YORK -- Chicago Cubs starter Edwin Jackson would sign up in an instant for more games like the one that played out Friday, when he trotted out to the mound in the second inning already equipped with a five-run advantage.
"You get those early runs it's definitely a luxury. Most times than not, it's going to be those games where you got to pitch mistake-free or pretty much close to it," Jackson said. "We come out and get an offensive explosion like we did tonight, it's definitely great."
The offense gave Jackson room to work and he made sure those runs didn't go to waste as he pitched six innings of one-run ball in the Cubs’ 6-3 win over the New York Mets on Friday at Citi Field. Jackson won consecutive starts for the first time all year, and has given up just two runs in his last 13 innings.
"I'm just trying to come out and just continue to battle and help the team win. Just going out and trying to give it a 100 percent," Jackson said. "We come out and we score like we did, and get early runs, as a starter you definitely will take that every time. Just want to go out and continue to come at batters and let the defense work, and keep the bats in the guys’ hands while they're hot."
The Cubs' Darwin Barney (15) celebrates with teammates Dioner Navarro, left, and Luis Valbuena, right, after all three scored on a triple by David DeJesus.
The Cubs had topped four runs just once in their past seven games, but they went to work early on Mets starter Shaun Marcum, tagging him for five runs through two. Handed the most runs he's received in more than a month, Jackson took care of the lowly Mets as he improved to 3-8.
The Mets mounted threats in several innings, but Jackson managed to avoid big trouble, giving up his lone run in the third. He stranded two runners in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings. Jackson gave up just five hits and struck out seven.
"Pitched good. I don't think he had great command of his fastball, but I think he had one of his better sliders tonight, that's for sure," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He had the depth on it and the velocity. He got a lot of swings and misses and no real contact at all on his slider. ... Did another really, really good job."
Rizzo comes through: Batting fifth for the first time all season, Anthony Rizzo went 3-for-4 and scored two runs. Rizzo ignited the team's four-run rally in the second with a bloop to center field.
"Hopefully that blooper got things going," Sveum said. "Hit two balls hard. Guy throwing 90-plus mph -- the left hander (Josh Edgin) -- come in and get a hit off him, and then obviously smoked one in the gap. Hopefully that blooper is what gets guys going."
While Sveum wouldn't like to change the lineup after the offensive explosion and Rizzo's big night, the Mets are throwing a left-hander on Saturday in Jonathon Niese and that will force a certain structure to the lineup.