Edwin Jackson disappoints once again in 9-3 Cubs’ loss
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org June 25, 2013 10:04PM
Updated: June 25, 2013 11:36PM
MILWAUKEE — If measured on a scale that includes the Stanley Cup, this one might be worthy of a sample cup.
And the Cubs were up to the task Tuesday night as they opened a three-game battle for last place in the National League Central with the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Cubs’ $52 million jewel of the offseason, right-hander Edwin Jackson, struggled again as the Cubs took over sole possession of last place with a 9-3 loss.
Jackson (3-10, 5.84) didn’t pitch with the same velocity or “conviction” manager Dale Sveum said he had seen in some of his better recent starts. Jackson said simple failure to execute at times was the issue. He failed to get out of a 32-pitch fifth inning.
“I don’t feel like I got away from pitching with conviction,” he said. “There were just situations where I left the ball up. You walk the first guy [in the fifth], and Rickie Weeks comes up and hits a double [for a run]. “And I get a chance to get myself out of the inning with the next three or four batters I faced, and I wasn’t able to do that.”
As Sveum has said multiple times this season, Jackson will stay in the rotation to work through his struggles. But they’re starting to rival the struggles of his first full season in the big leagues six years ago, when he went 5-15 with a 5.76 ERA.
Jackson trails only the Philadelphia Phillies’ Cole Hamels (11) for most losses in the majors.
“I don’t see him going anywhere,” Sveum said. “We’ve got to get more consistency and try to get that guy that we saw in the first three innings against the White Sox and a couple more outings. It’s just that consistency that I keep talking about with the velocity and the power.”
Fifteen starts into what figures to be a 31- or 32-start season, Sveum said he has faith the veteran right-hander can turn the corner in this first year of a four-year deal.
“I think he can. There’s a lot of time left,” Sveum said. “We’re about halfway through the season now. I think he knows the formula. His good games have been the conviction and the velocity, and try to overpower people and not try to finesse people out there.”
Jackson said he has no plans to stop fighting his way back.
“It’s a long way to go,” he said. “I’m sure there’s nobody in this clubhouse that’s lost confidence. You’ve got a choice. Either you can give up and get buried or keep fighting.
“We’ve still got a lot of baseball left. It’s how you finish. You don’t give up.”
In addition to the double, Weeks hit two of the Brewers’ three home runs, including a cannon shot over the center-field wall in the eighth inning off reliever Shawn Camp.
He also hit a two-run shot off Hector Rondon in the sixth.
The Brewers batted around to score five runs off Jackson in the fifth after the Cubs had staked him to a 3-1 lead on Nate Schierholtz’s three-run homer in the third.