Jackson’s season ends on bitter note
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporter September 28, 2013 9:50PM
Chicago Cubs v St. Louis Cardinals
Updated: October 30, 2013 7:01AM
ST. LOUIS — Just when it looked like it might be mathematically impossible for Edwin Jackson’s season to get any worse, the Cubs’ $52 million pitcher left the mound in the third inning of Sunday’s 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, accompanied by the team trainer.
“Pretty much sums up how it was,” said Jackson, who left the game because of right lat “tightness” that both he and the team say is not serious.
To whatever degree the lat issue contributed, Jackson gave up six more earned runs in what he calls the “craziest year” of his career, and he became the first pitcher since Daniel Cabrera in 2007 to lose 18 games in a season — the first Cub to lose that many since Steve Trachsel in 1999.
Jackson was as close to a defining player for the Cubs’ 2013 as anyone in the clubhouse — from his slow start to his 8-18, 4.98 finish, and even including his dugout altercation with the manager last week.
He averaged only 52/3 innings, gave up the eighth highest number of hits in the National League (197), and the Cubs went 10-21 when he pitched.
“Sh---y year to sum it up,” said Jackson, who once went 5-15 with a 5.76 ERA for Tampa Bay. “But you still learn from it. There are a lot of things to take from it.
“At the end of the day I’ve got three more years here to look forward to. I definitely look forward to changing everything around.”
Said manager Dale Sveum: “I think he’s ready to come back next year and obviously prove himself. I think a lot of things go into the thing pressure-wise, when you get a contract like that and you come to a new team. I think next year will be a lot more comfortable, and he’ll settle in and have a much better year.”
In their last four meetings against St. Louis, all losses, the Cubs have been outscored 23-3.
◆ Anthony Rizzo’s ninth-inning homer — his first in two weeks — pushed his season RBI total to 80.
◆ The Cubs tied the franchise record for losses in three consecutive seasons (287 in 1960-62) with one game left.