Edwin Jackson Served ‘Em Up and the Braves Knocked Around the Cubs – Braves 11, Cubs 6

Game Ninety-Three: Cubs 6, Braves 11

WP – Mike Minor (3-5) LP – Edwin Jackson (5-10) Save – David Carpenter (3)

Edwin Jackson could not keep the ball down or in the park Saturday afternoon. The Braves kept the scoreboard operator rather busy in a game the Cubs led 2-0 after one inning and tied it at three in the third but the Braves pulled away with six runs in the fourth and pummeled the Cubs in the second game of the three-game set.

Edwin Jackson was really bad again. And taking in to consideration how he’s pitched since the middle of May, Saturday might have been his worst outing of the season. Jackson said after the game that he was embarrassed by the way he pitched.

The Braves actually went down in order in the first inning and Edwin Jackson struck out two of the first three batters he faced. But after his teammates gave him a lead, he gave the runs right back.

Edwin Jackson could not complete four innings Saturday. After serving up the first of two homers to Chris Johnson in the second inning that tied the game at two, the Braves scored a single run in the third and six more in the fourth, three with Jackson on the mound. The Braves launched three home runs off Jackson, two by Chris Johnson and the third was off the bat of Mike Minor, the Braves starter.

The Braves hit one home run in their previous 12 games entering play Saturday. Atlanta hit three in less than four complete innings off Edwin Jackson.

PrintEdwin Jackson turned the game over to Carlos Villanueva with two outs in the fourth, the bases loaded and the Cubs down by a score of 6-3. Justin Upton cleared the bases with a double and closed the book on Jackson. Edwin Jackson was charged with nine runs, all earned, on seven hits (three home runs), four walks, a wild pitch and three strikeouts. Jackson threw 74 pitches, 41 for strikes, in 3 2/3 innings.

Carlos Villanueva pitched two clean innings of his own with five strikeouts and James Russell tossed two scoreless frames with a walk. The Braves last two runs scored in the ninth off Brian Schlitter.

The offense outhit the Braves for eight innings Saturday and put runs on the board. But they were not able to keep up with the amount of runs Jackson was giving Atlanta.

Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored) collected two more hits and scored two more runs. Alcantara put together good at bats and even his outs were squared up rather well. Alcantara started in center and looked very comfortable on a windy day at Wrigley. Alcantara took good routes and did not look like a player learning the position.

Chris Coghlan (2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and three RBI) had another big day at the plate. Coghlan doubled in Starlin Castro (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) with the Cubs’ second run. Coghlan drove in two more runs with a double to left in the fifth that cut the Braves lead to 9-6.

Other than a baserunning gaffe in the first inning, Justin Ruggiano (3-for-4 with a double, a RBI and two runs scored) had a good game at the plate. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a run scored) just missed a three-run homer in the fifth and had to settle for a long single. Welington Castillo (2-for-4 with a double and a RBI) tied the game at three with a double in the third inning.

The Cubs scored six runs on 11 hits with two walks and went 5-for-12 with RISP and left four men on base.

The front office and the Cubs coaching staff is supposed to look at the roster during the break to see how they would like to construct the 25-man roster out of the break, one move should be removing Edwin Jackson from the starting rotation. Jackson has seemingly stopped any momentum this young roster has created throughout the season. The second half is going be tough enough for this group of players and Jackson should be put in a position that best helps the team.

Rick Renteria was asked after the game about Jackson possibly being demoted to the bullpen. Renteria said the team is not thinking about changing Jackson’s role with the Cubs at this time.

With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 40-53 on the season.

Edwin Jackson retired the Braves in order with two strikeouts on 16 pitches, nine for strikes, in the first inning. And the Cubs jumped on Mike Minor in the first.

Arismendy Alcantara doubled to left center on a 2-1 pitch. Justin Ruggiano ripped a single into left center. Alcantara scored, 1-0 Cubs. Rizzo popped out to center for the first out. Ruggiano tried to advance on a 1-2 pitch in the dirt to Castro. But Ruggiano slowed down just before the bag and was thrown out at second base. Ruggiano claimed he was safe, but the play was not reviewed and telecast replays showed it was a bad baserunning mistake by Ruggiano. Starlin Castro walked and Welington Castillo singled. With two on and two out, Chris Coghlan doubled into the right field corner. Castro scored, 2-0 Cubs and Castillo held up at third. Mike Olt popped out to center to end the inning.

The Cubs led 2-0 after one inning.

Edwin Jackson retired Justin Upton on a grounder to third. Jackson lost his command after the Upton groundout and walked Jason Heyward. Chris Johnson stepped in and launched a homer to the back of the bleachers in left. And just like that the game was tied at two. Jackson retired La Stella before he walked Christian Bethancourt. Mike Minor grounded out to short to end the inning. Jackson needed 34 pitches, 17 for strikes, to complete two frames.

After the Cubs went down in order in the second inning, Jackson took the hill for the third inning with the game tied at two. B.J. Upton doubled into the left field corner and Andrelton Simmons singled to center. B.J. Upton scored, 3-2 Braves. Jackson struck out Freddie Freeman swinging. Simmons ran on the 0-2 pitch and Welington Castillo cut him down at second for the second out. Justin Upton flied out to deep center to end the inning. Edwin Jackson threw 44 pitches, 24 for strikes, over three innings.

With the Cubs down by one, Ruggiano led off the third with a double to right center. The ball stuck in the ivy and Ruggiano had to stop at second base. Rizzo flied out to center and Castro flied out to right center. It appeared Minor was going to get out of the inning when Castillo hit a liner into center. But B.J. Upton misplayed it in to a double, Ruggiano scored and the game was tied at three. Chris Coghlan grounded out to first to end the inning.

Edwin Jackson took the hill for the fourth inning with the game tied at three, and Jackson could not record three outs. Jason Heyward doubled to center and Chris Johnson launched his second homer of the game, a two-run shot to left, 5-3 Braves. La Stella grounded out to second and Bethancourt grounded out to third. But Jackson kept missing up and Mike Minor hit a homer to left. Minor’s second longball of his career put the Braves up 6-3. Jackson then walked B.J. Upton. Andrelton Simmons singled to right center, Upton went to third and Jackson walked Freeman to load the bases with two outs. Rick Renteria finally decided that was enough for Jackson and he went to his pen for Carlos Villanueva. Justin Upton worked a full count before ripping a double off the wall in left. Upton, Simmons and Freeman scored, 9-3 Braves. Villanueva struck out Heyward swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Mike Minor faced the minimum in the fourth and after four innings, the Cubs were getting thumped 9-3.

Carlos Villanueva retired the Braves in order in the fifth and Arismendy Alcantara led off the fifth with a single to left center. Justin Ruggiano dribbled one up the third baseline that Johnson let roll. The ball stayed fair and the Cubs had runners on first and second with no outs. Anthony Rizzo drove a 1-1 pitch to deep left center. The Upton Brothers converged on the ball, but neither one caught it, the ball hit off the metal door in left center. Rizzo ended up with a very long single and the bases were loaded for Castro. Mike Minor struck out Castro swinging. A passed ball with Castillo at the plate allowed Alcantara to scamper home, 9-4 Braves. Castillo struck out swinging with runners on second and third for the second out. Chris Coghlan picked up Castro and Castillo with a double to left. Ruggiano and Rizzo scored, 9-6 Braves. Mike Olt struck out swinging to end the inning.

After five innings, the Cubs trailed 9-6.

Carlos Villanueva and James Russell kept the Braves off the board in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. But the Cubs could not put anything together against Minor, David Hale or David Carpenter. Brian Schlitter took the hill for the ninth and the Braves removed any doubt about Saturday’s outcome.

B.J. Upton grounded out to Barney for the first out in the ninth. Simmons followed with an infield single to third. Valbuena tried to make a barehand pickup but could not get a handle on the ball. Freeman singled to center. Simmons stopped at second with one out. Justin Upton singled to left, Simmons scored, 10-6. Heyward singled to left, Freeman scored and the Braves took an 11-6 lead. Chris Johnson grounded in to a 6-3 double play to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the ninth against David Carpenter.

Travis Wood is scheduled to face Julio Teheran in the last game before the All-Star break.

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Quote of the Day

"Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure." – W.J. Slim

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  • Redlarczykg

    Ok Theo and Jed. Where are you going to get 3 good starting pitchers for 2015? Jackson crap! How are you going to unload him, or will you keep running him out there. There’s nothing coming from our great farm system soon. Unless they start trading some of our future “stars”, it could be a very long 2015, even with Bryant joining the team.

    • Swish23

      2015 will be a bad team. The whole problem with the plan is there was not any talent added to the team with all these “flips” that were MLB talent; all kids too far away plus NO free agents signed of value. EJax is horrid. For all the love Bosio gets, Jackson is worse with the Cubs than prior teams and Wood is bad again; only the “flips” show improvement, but they don’t stick around. next year will see another flip added. Theo said hopefully not, but he also said every season is sacred; so he’s full of bologna. next year will be about some of the kids joining castro and rizzo. hopefully alcantara is allowed to stay. seems ready. can’t hurt.
      would be nice if OUR announcers could say his name; would think they could go to baseball-refernce. com and figure out it’s not “alcontra”….really embarrasing to here it. (it’s al-con-tuh-ruh).
      hope hendricks and beeler get called back after the break; time to see what the 2015 rotation will be. arrieta’s most IP in a year is 119; so I hope they shut him down at 150 IP max; that’s a 25% increase.

      • RynoTiger

        umm Swish23, I think you’ve contradicted yourself..”The whole problem with the plan is there was not any talent added to the team with all these ‘flips’ that were MLB talent”….really?

        Garza trade: Ramirez (majors); Grimm (majors); Olt (majors but should go back to minors to develop more)

        Feldman trade: Arrieta (majors); Strop (majors)

        Cashner trade: Rizzo (majors)

        I’ll just take it that you were blowing off steam.

        • Swish23

          Olt is hitting below .150. Is that talent? No. Grimm has a 5 ERA; again not talent. Cashner was not a flip; he was a TOR prospect traded for another. Strop is just a RP; not a closer. So yes I missed Jake Lahair; but lets not go Rich Hill crazy over 11 good starts. I’ll assume you were thinking with ur Cubs koolaid glasses when you spoke.

          • triple

            I don’t care how TOR a guy is, if he can’t stay healthy, you can’t lean on him, and he cannot help the team win. So it’s funny that your comeback to me included mentioning “when his elbow hurts next year” when you are using pitchers elbows that currently are hurt and on the DL to support your lousy opinion. You’re like Junior Lake, swingin’ and missing, and then busting your bat over your knee in frustration because you aren’t good enough.

      • triple

        The problem with your analysis is that it entirely fails to look at the big picture. For instance, in 2012 Arrieta pitched 170 2/3 between the majors and minors, and in 2013 he pitched 154 2/3 innings. This year he’s pitched 98 1/3 innings. His spot in the rotation has about 14 starts left, and I don’t see why they wouldn’t let him get up to about 180/185 IP. At that point, he’d probably only have 2 starts left for the year. If they want to give a shot to minor leaguer, they can, but if Arrieta is pitching strong, I don’t see why it wouldn’t hurt to let him finish those couple starts on a more limited pitch count and push closer to 200 IP. If he’s gonna be a #2 or #3, it would behoove them to let him pitch the innings now so they know what to expect in future years.

        • Swish23

          When his elbow hurts next year; we’ll use ur analysis. No point in proving anything; team is tanking.

      • SirGladiator

        I think we’re poised for greatness, today’s game is actually pretty good evidence of that. Look how many runs EJax and Villanueva had to give up for us to lose this game. Any other starter and we’d probably have won. And that’s with a lineup that still has too many really crappy hitters. Imagine next season, when Bryant, Baez, and Russell ‘should’ be in the lineup (whether the FO will make them wait until June due to super-cheapness remains to be seen, but unless they’re just awful the rest of the year they clearly should be starting from day 1 next season, certainly Bryant is hitting about 200 points higher than the current 3Bman so he could be up right now) , we’ll have one of the best lineups in all of baseball! And our rotation will be a lot better without Jackson or Villanueva in it, which they certainly shouldn’t be next year. We’ll have Lester in it, possibly trade for another bigtime starter, who knows. But you can’t look at today’s result and think things are bleak, when today would’ve almost certainly been a win with anybody but Jackson on the mound. We’re getting better and better, and that improvement is going to jump by leaps and bounds as the big boppers start getting called up!

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  • paulcatanese

    Seems to me I remember another number 7 years back, switch hitter and a middle infielder and was moved to CF, he played rather well.

    • Tom U

      Bobby Murcer? Just kidding.

      • paulcatanese

        The Mick, Tom. He came up as a SS an was moved to CF, although he did have a few problems at first, he turned out well.
        Think the Yankees also retired his number.
        The comparison I see with Alcantara is only (at this point) is he swings the bat very smoothly from either side, and his power seems to just come off the bat very easy.

        • Tom U

          I knew who you were talking about, just yanking your chain.

          By the way, Murcer came through the minors as a second baseman but ended up as a decent outfielder.

  • Tom U

    Nice concentration by Anthony Giansanti in night’s Tennessee Smokies game:

  • Ripsnorter1

    Ed Jackson has the highest road ERA of any starting pitcher in MLB. The next worst road ERA for a starting pitcher in MLB is Travis Wood.

    Wood’s problem is the BB. His total since May 7 is 38 — tied for second-most in the NL in that time.

    • cubtex

      All that talk by many to extend Travis Wood was so premature.

      • triple

        I guess this can be taken as a compliment to the FO for the fact that they haven’t yet extended Travis Wood.