Wednesday, June 19, 2013
No regrets for Jackson on home run pitch
By Rob Rains Special to ESPNChicago.com
ST. LOUIS -- Edwin Jackson threw the pitch he wanted, and where he wanted -- down and in -- hoping Yadier Molina would hit it on the ground and one of his infielders could turn an inning-ending double play.
It didn't work out that way, and the result was another loss for Jackson and the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night.
Edwin Jackson reacts after giving up a key home run to Yadier Molina during the Cubs' loss Wednesday.
Molina hit Jackson's 1-and-2 pitch into the seats in left field for a two-run homer, breaking a 1-all tie and sending the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-1 victory.
"I thought it was a pretty good pitch, but either he was looking for it or he guessed right or it was right in his zone. Either way, he hit it for a home run," Jackson said. "I threw my pitch with conviction. It was the pitch I wanted to throw. Sometimes it happens in the game."
Until that point, Jackson was working on his third consecutive quality start, having given up only the one run and five hits. But the end result was another loss, dropping his record to 3-9, the second-most losses by a pitcher in the National League. Cole Hamels of the Phillies has 10.
"I didn't second-guess the pitch, even after the home run," Jackson said. "He hit the pitch I wanted to throw. That pretty much summed up the game."
Jackson and Molina were teammates for the final two months of the 2011 season, but Jackson said he did not believe that relationship gave Molina an advantage in their personal matchup. He had retired the Cardinals' catcher in his first two at-bats of the game.
"A lot of people know me," said Jackson, who has played for seven other major league teams. "It doesn't mean they know exactly what pitch you are going to throw and when you are going to throw it. I don't put too much thought in it. They can say I know him, too. Tonight it was just a tough loss. He won the battle."
It was the third career home run Molina has hit off Jackson and it continued his red-hot series. Even though the Cubs got him out three times in this game, he found a way to beat them with the home run, is now 6-for-11 in the three games and has driven in five of the Cardinals' 11 runs in the series.
"He was right in the middle of it again," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Molina. "He's on fire. He is really good. Other than that one pitch, Jackson did not give up a lot of hard contact. It was a good outing up until then."