Game Forty-One: Cubs 3, Brewers 0
WP – Edwin Jackson (3-3) LP – Matt Garza (2-4) Save – Hector Rondon (4)
The 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.