Jackson Serves Up Another Loss – Cubs 4, Diamondbacks 8

Game Fifty-Five – Cubs 4, Diamondbacks 8

WP – Patrick Corbin (9-0) LP – Edwin Jackson (1-8) Save – None

After winning five straight for the first time in nearly two years, the Cubs lost their second game in a row on Sunday afternoon. The Cubs were playing good ball prior to the seventh inning of Saturday’s game and has since reverted back to their early season form. The Cubs played a very sloppy game in the finale against Arizona and it all started with Edwin Jackson.

Edwin Jackson put together just a miserable start. Jackson pitched from behind in the count, had little to no fastball command, uncorked four wild pitches and appeared rather uncomfortable again on the mound. Jackson could not make pitches when he needed to or keep the D-Backs from scoring after his offense would put runs on the board.

Edwin Jackson drove in the Cubs’ second run with a single that plated Darwin Barney (2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and a walk) and that was the highlight of his day. Jackson left with two outs in the sixth after allowing seven runs, five earned, on 12 hits with three walks, four wild pitches and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Jackson threw 108 pitches, 62 for strikes.

Carlos Marmol gave up Arizona’s eighth run in the eighth after walking the first two batters he faced and giving up a two-out single to Wil Nieves. Marmol walked three more batters, struck out two and threw 34 pitches, 17 for strikes, in only one inning of work.

Less than 24 hours after walking eight batters, Cubs’ pitching walked seven more batters on Sunday afternoon.

The Cubs offense had a tall task from the outset but responded by becoming the first team to score four earned runs against Patrick Corbin this season.

The Cubs showed a lot of patience in the first inning and took advantage of Corbin’s command issues. The Cubs walked twice in the first inning around a pair of hit batsmen that led to their first run. Dioner Navarro (0-for-3 with a RBI and a walk) worked the bases loaded walk to force in Starlin Castro (0-for-3 with a run scored and a HBP) with the game’s first run. Sunday was the 500th game of Starlin Castro’s career.

Scott Hairston (1-for-2 with a home run, two RBI and a HBP) tied the game at four in the fifth with the 100th home run of his career. And the Cubs took advantage of the few hits they did manage off Patrick Corbin. Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a double and a run scored) reached on a two out double in the fifth and scored on Hairston’s fifth longball of the season.

After being outscored 12-4 on Saturday night while being outhit 17-3, the Cubs lost the finale 8-4 on Sunday while being outhit 13-6. Cubs’ pitching gave up 20 runs on 30 hits with 15 walks over the final two games against the gritty Diamondbacks.

With Sunday’s loss (2-7 on Sundays in 2013), the Cubs dropped back to nine games below .500 with a 23-32 record.

Edwin Jackson struggled with his command all afternoon and set the tone for another poor outing in the first inning. Jackson walked Gerardo Parra to start the game. A wild pitch on a 2-2 offering to Gregorius allowed Parra to take second base. Jackson caught Gregorius looking at a 3-2 pitch for the first out. Prado grounded out to short, Parra advanced to third and held after Jackson walked Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt then stole second on a 0-2 pitch to Kubel. Jackson got Kubel to chase a 1-2 pitch in the dirt. The ball got away from Navarro but Kubel did not run and Jackson wiggled his way out of trouble. Jackson threw 24 pitches, 11 for strikes, in the first inning.

Patrick Corbin plunked Starlin Castro on a 0-1 pitch with one out in the first inning. Anthony Rizzo walked and the Cubs had runners on first and second with one out. Soriano struck out swinging before Corbin hit Scott Hairston on a 2-2 pitch to load the bases. Dioner Navarro worked a full count before walking and forcing in Castro with the game’s first run. Cody Ransom smacked a 1-2 pitch to the track in left center, the wind knocked the ball down and into Parra’s glove to end the inning. Corbin threw 33 pitches, 17 for strikes, in the first inning. The opening frame took 33 minutes to play.

The Cubs’ lead quickly evaporated in the second inning as Jackson struggled with his command and the defense gave the D-Backs extra outs. Wil Nieves reached on a single up the middle. Castro got to the ball, but could not field it and appeared to kick the ball with his foot. Cliff Pennington singled to left on a 3-2 pitch. Patrick Corbin then hit a lazy fly ball into shallow left center. Julio Borbon took his eyes off the routine fly and the Diamondbacks loaded the bases with one out on the Cubs 41st error of the season. Gerardo Parra pulled a 3-1 pitch into right. Nieves and Pennington scored, 2-1 Arizona. Didi Gregorius tried to check his swing on a 0-1 pitch but tapped the ball back to the mound. Jackson fielded the ball but threw wildly to second. Castro did an excellent job of scooping the low throw, keeping the ball out of centerfield and getting an out. But instead of getting out of the inning with a double play, Jackson had to face Martin Prado with runners on first and third with two outs. Jackson uncorked another wild pitch on a 2-2 pitch to Prado. The ball predictably got past Navarro and Corbin scampered in with Arizona’s third run. Prado grounded out to third to end the inning. Jackson needed 52 pitches, 38 for strikes, to complete just two innings on Sunday.

Julio Borbon notched the Cubs’ first hit in the second inning, a bunt single with two down.

The D-Backs put two on with one out in the third after Kubel reached on an infield single and Cody Ross doubled down the right field line. Nieves hit a grounder toward first with the infield in. Rizzo fielded the ball cleanly and threw to the plate. Navarro tagged out Kubel for the second out. Pennington grounded out to second (2-2 pitch) to end the inning. Jackson threw 67 pitches, 38 for strikes, in only three innings.

After the Cubs went down in order quickly in the third, Jackson retired Arizona in order in the fourth.

Patrick Corbin retired Navarro and Ransom to start the fourth, six straight retired by Corbin. But Darwin Barney lashed a double into left center. Edwin Jackson followed and drove Corbin’s first pitch into center. Barney scored and cut the D-Backs’ lead to 3-2. Borbon flied out to right center to end the inning.

Arizona got the run right back in the fifth. Paul Goldschmidt singled to center (1-2 pitch) with one out. Jason Kubel followed and smacked the first pitch through the shift and into right field. Cody Ross broke his bat and popped out to Castro in shallow left for the second out. But Wil Nieves blooped a 2-0 pitch into left. Goldschmidt scored, 4-2 Arizona. A wild pitch on a 2-2 offering to Pennington put runners on second and third before Pennington grounded out to second to end the inning.

Alfonso Soriano doubled to right with two outs in the fifth and trotted home when Scott Hairston launched his fifth homer of the season on a 0-1 pitch into the bleachers in left center. The 100th homer of Hairston’s career tied the game at four. Navarro grounded out to third to end the inning. Corbin threw 91 pitches, 60 for strikes, over five innings.

After five complete, the game was tied at four.

Jackson started the sixth by striking out Corbin and retiring Parra on a grounder to second. But Didi Gregorius singled to right (0-1 pitch) and Martin Prado singled to center (1-0 pitch) to put runners on first and second with two outs for Goldschmidt.

Paul Goldschmidt ripped Jackson’s first pitch into center. Gregorius scored, 5-4 D-Backs. Jackson uncorked his fourth wild pitch of the game on the first offering to Kubel. Both runners advanced ninety feet and Jackson just put Kubel on and loaded the bases with two down. Cody Ross then put the game away with a single to right (1-0 pitch). Prado and Goldschmidt scored, 7-4 D-Backs. Dale Sveum made his second trip of the inning to the mound and went to his pen for Hector Rondon.

With runners on first and third with two down, Rondon struck out Nieves swinging to end the inning.

The game remained 7-4 Arizona until the eighth.

Carlos Marmol walked Prado and Goldschmidt to start the inning. Marmol continued struggling with his command but was able to strikeout Kubel swinging for the first out. For some reason, Prado took off for third on a 1-0 pitch to Ross. Navarro threw him out. Marmol then walked Ross to put runners on first and second with two down. Wil Nieves singled to left and plated Goldschmidt with Arizona’s eighth run of the game. Marmol struck out Pennington to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against David Hernandez in the eighth and managed just a one-out walk by Darwin Barney in the ninth off of Heath Bell.

Monday is an off day for the Cubs. Scott Feldman is scheduled to face Jered Weaver and the Angels in the opener in Anaheim on Tuesday night.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax