Edwin Jackson leads Cubs to 3-0 win over Cardinals
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com July 11, 2013 10:30PM
Updated: July 12, 2013 12:19AM
Apparently, reports of Edwin Jackson’s demise were premature.
The Cubs’ big offseason free agent, whose $52 million deal has been widely and often criticized, was at his best Thursday night against the top lineup in the National League. He pitched seven scoreless innings without a walk to beat the first-place St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 in the opener of a four-game series at Wrigley Field.
Jackson (6-10), who had been booed during a 1-8 start as a Cub, delivered his most dominant performance in his final start before the All-Star break. He’s 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his last three starts.
“For [starters], it’s a 32-start season, and you let things go,” manager Dale Sveum said. “Obviously, things have come together a lot better his last four or five starts. When he’s got that kind of slider, that’s what we all know him for, that kind of wipeout slider.”
His fifth win in seven starts helped the Cubs to their 10th victory in 15 games.
“I’ve had some slow [starts]. This is probably the craziest start I’ve ever had in baseball,” said Jackson, who won a World Series ring with the Cardinals in 2011. “It’s a game of grinding it out. As long as you believe and you have the confidence that you can turn things around.
“No one expected me to start like I did — myself, the front office, the team, the manager. No one. But you can either sink or you can swim. I’m definitely one of those guys that won’t give up.”
Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo delivered back-to-back hits twice from the 2-3 spots in the order for the Cubs’ scoring in the game.
Castro singled in the first, with Rizzo driving him home with a double.
After Luis Valbuena led off the third with a walk, Castro singled again. After both advanced on a wild pitch, Rizzo slapped a single to left for two more runs.
Rizzo had three RBI in eight games this month before collecting three more in the first three innings Thursday.
“Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come [for the team] in the second half,” Rizzo said.