Edwin Jackson picks up his first victory since June 20
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporter August 3, 2014 9:43PM
Updated: August 3, 2014 9:58PM
LOS ANGELES — As tough as the first 54 starts of his Cubs career have been, even Edwin Jackson won’t dismiss the possibility that a change of scenery could benefit him.
“It could,” he said, before quickly adding, “but maybe not.
“The only thing you can do is keep throwing, having confidence in yourself and believe in what you know you can do. You know if you feel good. Results might not be there. You just have to believe things can change and try to stay positive.”
Sunday was one of those days for Jackson, a rarity this season, as he beat the Dodgers 7-3, pitching six innings for the first time in five starts and earning his first victory since June 20.
It was the kind of effort sure to stir at least speculation of interest in the former All-Star as teams maneuver the waiver wire in August to try to make trades before playoff rosters are set at the end of the month.
The only certainty is that, with two more seasons and almost
$26 million left on his contract, he will clear waivers, probably this week. That would make him one of the most eligible pitchers available on the market without a health question.
“I worry about what I can control, man,” said Jackson, who produced his first quality start since July 1 and his second since May 17 (spanning 14 starts). “It never goes even in the back of my mind. Not one time.”
But the guy who was supposed to be part of the turnaround when he signed that four-year, $52 million deal said he wouldn’t be surprised if he got traded.
“Nowadays, nothing surprises me anymore,” said Jackson, who has been traded six times in his career. “You only get surprised when you have in your mind that nothing can happen.”
Even with the victory Sunday and six innings without a walk, Jackson (6-11) is just 14-29 as a Cub with a 5.26 ERA in 301 innings (5.66 this season).
He said nobody from the organization has said anything to him about what to expect next.
“You never know,” Jackson said. “You can’t stay worried about it. You just try to do what you can do.”
NOTES: After losing six consecutive series since top pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel were traded to the Athletics, the Cubs have won back-to-back series for the first time since June 13-18, taking five of seven against the Rockies and Dodgers.
◆ The average time of the game for the Cubs in their last six games is 4 hours, 4 minutes. While some of that involves 16- and 12-inning games, their average inning in that stretch has lasted 22 ½ minutes — or 3:23 per nine innings.
◆ The Dodgers had a season-high six-game winning streak before the Cubs won their first series at Dodger Stadium since 2011.
◆ Former Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan, batting .292 overall, is 11-for-23 in his last six games, with two doubles and a homer in the last two.