D-backs the latest to beat Cubs’ Jackson
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org June 2, 2013 9:28PM
Dale Sveum, Edwin Jackson, Anthony Rizzo
Updated: June 2, 2013 9:39PM
It was easier for Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson to acknowledge his shortcomings than it was for his manager.
Dale Sveum blamed center fielder Julio Borbon, who dropped ‘‘a routine fly ball’’ in the second inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks, for opening the floodgates in an 8-4 loss, the latest defeat for the struggling starter who was the Cubs’ lone major free-agent signing.
‘‘Those things change outcomes and the course of a ballgame,’’ Sveum said.
But Jackson knew better.
‘‘Errors are part of the game,’’ said Jackson, who gave up 12 hits and threw four wild pitches in 52/3 innings. ‘‘As pitchers, we have to pick up our defenders.
‘‘Today, our team comes back and does a great job battling against one of the best pitchers in the game [Patrick Corbin], and I did a terrible job of holding that game close enough for us to come back.’’
Borbon’s error on Corbin’s fly came with one out and two men on base. But Jackson gave up a two-run single to the next batter, Gerardo Parra.
And Jackson made a poor throw to shortstop Starlin Castro on a would-be double-play ball by Didi Gregorius. Castro grabbed the off-balance throw for a force-out but couldn’t turn the double play that would’ve ended the inning before a wild pitch that allowed Corbin (9-0) to score.
Jackson also accepted the blame for the sixth inning, when he got two quick outs, then gave up four singles in a three-run inning.
‘‘I have to do a better job of executing pitches there,’’ Jackson said.
It’s understandable for Sveum and Jackson’s teammates to feel for the likable veteran.
‘‘It’s unfortunate because [Jackson] hasn’t caught any breaks,’’ said second baseman Darwin Barney, who went 2-for-3. ‘‘We put a shift on Jason Kubel [in the fifth], and he hits it just past us.
‘‘But he’s a competitor, and he’ll come back for us. We’ll see better things out of him, that’s for sure.’’
Jackson carries a 1-8 record and 6.29 ERA.
‘‘It’s probably one of the most frustrating seasons I’ve been through,’’ Jackson said. ‘‘You feel like you’re not going out and really giving the team a chance to win a game. I’m a way better pitcher than I’ve been showing.
‘‘It hasn’t been about confidence. I haven’t given up on confidence. It’s just not getting the job done. I’ve been through a lot of up-and-down seasons, but this definitely has been a pretty frustrating season, to say the least, and it shows in the stats and the numbers.’’
Jackson understands the scrutiny that comes with a four-year, $52 million contract.
‘‘No one is more frustrated than me, and that goes from the front office to the management to the players,’’ Jackson said. ‘‘I’m my own worst critic and definitely have to be better than I’m pitching right now.
‘‘Right now, it’s not about me throwing strikes as much as throwing quality strikes. It’s one of those things where sometimes when some things go bad, everything goes bad. Just like when things are going good, everything goes good. You can make the same pitches, and they’ll get hit at somebody.
‘‘You have to do a better job of keeping hitters off balance. It’s not necessarily a matter of trusting my stuff because I’ve felt good the last few starts. It’s one of those things you have to continue to grind through.’’