Game Fifty-One: Cubs (20-30) vs. White Sox (24-25)
- Game Time – 7:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WCIU (Cubs), Comcast SportsNet (White Sox) – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 179/844
- Location – U.S. Cellular Field, South Side of Chicago
Edwin Jackson (1-7, 6.11/1.57) vs. Chris Sale (5-2, 2.53/0.92)
Weather permitting … The Cubs wrap up the eight-game road trip and two-game series tonight on the South Side and in order for Dale Sveum’s team to post their third straight victory they will need Edwin Jackson to put together his best outing of the season against Chris Sale. While Jackson has only one win and the Cubs are 2-8 in his 10 starts, Sale has not lost a game since April 18 and the Sox are 7-2 in his nine starts.
Edwin Jackson will be facing another one of his former teams tonight. Jackson pitched on the South Side in parts of the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Jackson was 4-2 in 11 starts in 2010 after being acquired from Arizona with a 3.24 Era and a 1.21 WHIP. Jackson then posted a 7-7 record in 19 starts in 2011 with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP before being dealt to the Cardinals.
Dale Sveum is expected to use most of the same starting lineup tonight with the exception of Dioner Navarro. Navarro is expected to serve as the Cubs’ DH tonight and not Scott Hairston or Alfonso Soriano.
After going winless over the first five games of the trip, the Cubs have a chance to go back to Wrigley winners of three straight for a five-game homestand against the Sox and Diamondbacks.
Tonight all starts with Edwin Jackson …
There is only one way to say it, Edwin Jackson is off to a bad start to his Cubs’ career. After signing a four-year, $52 million deal in the off-season that included a $8 million signing bonus to reduce the annual salary to $11 million per season, Jackson appears to have gotten comfortable. And while he has never been a top of the rotation starter, despite his stuff, Jackson has not pitched as poorly as he has for this extended of a period. Jackson was showing improvement in the two starts prior to his last outing but seemed to revert back to the way he pitched during his first seven outings of the season.
Dale Sveum addressed Jackson’s issues and said he is being provided the tools to be successful that it is up to him to follow the game plan and pitch the way he is capable.
Rain cut Jackson’s last start short. Jackson allowed four runs on six hits in three innings to the Pirates. Jackson walked a batter and struck out six but his final line was pretty indicative on how he pitched. After beginning the season 0-4 in his first six starts with a 6.27 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP, Jackson is 1-3 in his last four starts with a 5.85 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Teams have hit better than .300 off Jackson (.305) after managing a .269 average against him in April. If Jackson pitches today like he has, the White Sox will lit up the scoreboard.
Edwin Jackson has been somewhat serviceable on the road this season. Jackson is 1-3 in five starts outside of Wrigley with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.
Edwin Jackson has beaten the White Sox once in eight tries during his career. Jackson is 1-4 in eight starts versus the Sox with a 6.60 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP … lifetime at the Cell, Jackson is 5-6 in 19 starts with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP.
White Sox Career Numbers against Edwin Jackson
- Tyler Greene – 1-for-2
- Jeff Keppinger – 1-for-2
- Paul Konerko – 1-for-12 with a walk
- Alexei Ramirez – 0-for-17 with a walk
- Alex Rios – 7-for-30 with three doubles, a triple and two home runs
The Cubs will face one of the best starting pitchers in the game tonight in Chris Sale. Sale has been just about unhittable at times but missed his last start due to shoulder soreness. Sale tossed back-to-back shutouts in consecutive starts against the Angels and has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last six starts dating back to April 13 in Cleveland.
Chris Sale is a spectacular 3-0 in his last four starts with a 0.87 ERA and a 0.68 WHIP … just 16 hits allowed in 31 innings with five walks and 31 strikeouts.
Tonight will be Sale’s fifth start at the Cell this season. The southpaw is 3-0 in the first four with a 1.47 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP.
The Cubs have faced Chris Sale only twice and not once as a starter. Chris Sale makes his first start against the Cubs tonight and in two relief appearances totaling two innings, Sale has not allowed a run while surrendering just three hits, no walks and three strikeouts.
With Sale missing his last start due to his left shoulder, the Cubs might be able to jump on him early while he is still testing the shoulder.
Starlin Castro (0-for-1), David DeJesus (0-for-2), Dioner Navarro (0-for-1), Cody Ransom (0-for-3), Alfonso Soriano (0-for-1), Ryan Sweeney (0-for-1) and Luis Valbuena (1-for-1) have very limited at bats during their careers against Chris Sale.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …