Edwin Jackson’s Excellent Outing – Cubs 3, Brewers 0

Game Forty-One: Cubs 3, Brewers 0

WP – Edwin Jackson (3-3) LP – Matt Garza (2-4) Save – Hector Rondon (4)

wflag-pub2014The Cubs got under Matt Garza’s skin in the first inning, put a three-spot on the board and Edwin Jackson took care of the rest as the Cubs blanked the Brewers on Saturday afternoon. Edwin Jackson and the pen tossed the Cubs’ third shutout of the season after striking out the Brewers 14 times while limiting them to four singles.

Edwin Jackson put together, by far, his best outing in a Cubs’ uniform on Saturday afternoon. The Brewers made very little, if any, hard contact in seven innings while Jackson kept the leadoff man off base in six of the seven innings he pitched. Jackson limited the Brewers to four singles and two of them came with two outs in the first inning. Jackson worked well with Welington Castillo. The two appeared to be on the same page as Jackson found a rhythm early and kept the Brewers off the bases.

Edwin Jackson struck out five batters in the first two innings and ended up with a season-high 11 strikeouts. Saturday was the first time since August 8, 2012 (Mets) that Jackson struck out 11 batters in a start.

Edwin Jackson gave up four singles, one walk, threw a wild pitch and struck out 11 batters on 115 pitches, 77 for strikes, over seven innings.

Neil Ramirez retired the side in order in the eighth and picked up a couple of strikeouts. And Hector Rondon set down the Brewers in order on eight pitches in the ninth. Rondon struck out Mark Reynolds swinging to end the game.

Cubs’ pitching kept the leadoff man off base in eight of the nine innings and issued only one walk with 14 strikeouts.

The Cubs scored all of the runs Edwin Jackson would need in the first inning on two, two-out doubles. Emilio Bonifacio (1-for-4 with a run scored) reached on a bunt single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Chris Coghlan and scored from third on a double to right center off the bat of Starlin Castro (1-for-3 with a double and a RBI). After Nate Schierholtz (0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored) was walked on four pitches, Welington Castillo (1-for-3 with a double and two RBI) doubled in Castro and Schierholtz.

The Cubs managed only an Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4) single and a Junior Lake pinch-hit walk the rest of the game. The Cubs went 2-for-7 with RISP and left three men on base.

With Saturday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 14-27 on the season.

Edwin Jackson gave up a pair of two out singles (Braun and Lucroy) in the first inning, but ended up striking out the side and threw 22 pitches, 15 for strikes, in the opening frame.

The offense executed the game plan against Matt Garza in the first inning … and made Garza uncomfortable. Emilio Bonifacio led off the first with a bunt single. Bonifacio placed the bunt perfectly up the third baseline. Garza had to try to field the ball and once he finally picked it up, he could not make a throw. Chris Coghlan bunted the ball too hard and right to Garza on the first base side of the mound. Garza underhanded the ball to first to record the out as Bonifacio advanced to second base. Anthony Rizzo grounded out to second, Bonifacio advanced to third and trotted in when Starlin Castro cranked a 2-0 pitch to deep right center. The ball hit off the top of the basket, just below the yellow line. Castro slid in with a double and gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Garza wanted nothing to do with Nate Schierholtz and walked him on four pitches. Welington Castillo pulled a 1-0 pitch into the left field corner. Castro scored easily and Gary Jones waved in Schierholtz from first. The Cubs took a 3-0 lead on two, two-out run scoring doubles. Mike Olt struck out swinging (0-2 pitch) to end the inning. Garza threw 19 pitches, 11 for strikes, in the first inning.

After one complete, the Cubs led 3-0 … and that is how the game would end.

Edwin Jackson and Matt Garza locked in a pitcher’s duel after the first inning. The Cubs managed only one other hit after the first inning while Jackson gave up two hits and one walk over his last six innings of work.

The Cubs and Brewers will wrap-up the three-game series on Sunday afternoon (1:20pm CDT). Travis Wood takes on Marco Estrada in the finale on Throwback Sunday.

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  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Man EJax can pitch when he’s got command. He has been beter of late, last game not included. But he has been on a slow upward trajectory. We shall see of this gets him going.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Be great of he could become tradeable. He , Shark and Hammel could bring back players.

      • Richard Hood

        I am of the camp that Jackson has always been tradeable. He has that it that GM’s love and every pitching coach thinks he can fix up to be that guy his stuff always said he should be.

      • GaryLeeT

        Why not trade Wood and Arrieta if they can bring back players?

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          If they could bring back great packages is consider it. But especially with Arietta, there is still a lot of development before thus bring back that package.

          Basically one word…youth.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            IMO, we need to trade players we have that are quality contributors right now, that are going to be over 30 when the “core 4,” and others are ready to come up and contribute. We need a starting rotation manned with pitchers that are around the age of 25. That way they can hone their craft and improve and be ready to be studs when the hitters come up. We’re obviously still a couple years away from competing so anybody that isn’t going to be coming into his prime in 2 years is more valuable to us bringing back prospects. This is all just my opinion.

          • Tony_H

            Youth is the key and with service time is why they trade off older players and would want to keep Arrieta and Wood yet trade Hammel and Samardzija. Arrieta has 3 more years of control with arbitration years while Wood has 2 more years. Arrieta being 28 won’t hit FA until he is going into his age 32 season, so if he can pitch effectively will be around awhile.

      • Eugene Debs

        Or, we could keep at least some good pitchers and try to win.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    I posted this in Talkin’ and in the injury update report. I am doing this in order to try to control the responses. I am asking everyone to be respectful of each other.

    From San Diego: Padres place Andrew Cashner on the 15-day DL with soreness in right elbow. Cashner felt something in his elbow before his last start, said everything was fine and pitched. He’s scheduled for an MRI on Monday. Cashner does not feel there is anything wrong with the ligament in his elbow.

    • bpot92

      Martin Perez now is getting tommy john too

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        We’ve all known that injury problems were likely to plague him throughout his career. I like the guy and always pull for him and it’s unfortunate for him. But that’s why the calculated decision was made that he was tradeable.

        • BigJonLilJon

          It really is starting to appear that way with all pitchers… an injury is likely and/or expected these days. The way they are going down… I don’t think any of them are projected, but are starting to become expected. For all.

          • Tony_H

            The one group of pitchers that could be benefactors to all this is the Kyle Hendrick type guys. With all the power arms having arm injuries, pitchers who have command and sit in the low 90’s might be more attractive to teams to develop as more dependable options, IF they can get major league hitters out.

            I saw an article earlier in the week that talked arm injuries and used 92 MPH as the break point so to speak of where the ligaments and tendons are more as risk as they can’t be strengthened as much as the muscles that surround them. I can’t find the article to provide the link.

          • Eugene Debs

            Totally agree. We see more injuries because we see more hard throwers. The art of pitching will rise again.

    • Tony_H

      That’s too bad about Cashner and I hope it is nothing but a little rest needed.

  • BosephHeyden

    That was a fun game to watch. Pitching was good (Ramirez and Rondon both lights out), the defense didn’t embarrass anyone, we had offense for a little bit, and the 7th inning banter was very entertaining (I’m vaguely aware of CM Punk, but they need to keep bringing him back: he and Len work well together; also I liked his and Holly’s banter about the Sleeper vs the Rear Naked Choke).

    Nice, fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

    • Richard Hood

      For fans of wrestling (yes they exist still) CM Punk IS Chicago. His communication skills are what put him even on the list. It does not surprise me at all that he did well.

      • BosephHeyden

        He was slightly focused on the game while keeping things light, knew who all the people were, and threw in a piece for the Blackhawks before he started. Those are the types of guest conductors we should have.

        • Richard Hood

          Last year after the Stanley Cup Finals he came out in a BlackHawks Jersey and gave a shout out to a bunch of the players by name. He is truly a Chicago fan and has really used it in his “character”.

      • Eugene Debs

        Best In The World!

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  • Eugene Debs

    115 pitches! 11 more and his career would be ruined!

    Nice job, E. Jax. Decent start to 2014 for him.