Edwin Jackson and the Cubs Mis-Fiers against the Brewers – Brewers 6, Cubs 2

Game One Hundred Twenty: Cubs 2, Brewers 6

WP – Mike Fiers (2-1) LP – Edwin Jackson (6-13) Save – None

The homestand ended the way it began for the Cubs, with a lot of swinging and missing. The Cubs could not put the ball in play while a Brewers lineup without Aramis Ramirez and Ryan Braun lit up Edwin Jackson as the Cubs ended up with a split of the four game series against Milwaukee.

Edwin Jackson had another bad outing. Jackson had little to no command of his slider and the Brewers pounded just about everything he threw. Even the outs were smoked. Jackson barely made it through four innings and could not complete five. Rick Renteria went to his pen with two outs in the fifth after Jackson issued ball four to Scooter Gennett on the 93rd pitch of his afternoon.

Edwin Jackson allowed five runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Jackson threw 93 pitches, 55 for strikes, in 4 2/3 innings.

PrintJacob Turner made his Cubs debut Thursday afternoon and kept the Brewers off the scoreboard for 2 1/3 innings. Turner struck out a batter while not allowing a hit or a walk. Turner threw 30 pitches, 20 for strikes.

The Brewers tacked on in the eighth when Mark Reynolds hit a solo home run off Kyuji Fujikawa. And Carlos Villanueva pitched a scoreless ninth.

The offense had trouble just putting the ball in play against Mike Fiers. Only six balls were put in play in the first six innings and three of those were by Anthony Rizzo.

Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with a double) and Starlin Castro (1-for-4) collected the three hits off Mike Fiers. And the Cubs managed two runs on the afternoon. Chris Valaika (1-for-1 with two RBI) delivered a pinch-hit single in the seventh that scored Justin Ruggiano (1-for-4 with a run scored) and Welington Castillo (0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored).

The Cubs struck out 16 times Thursday afternoon, 14 by Mike Fiers and he set a new career mark. Every starter, plus Jacob Turner struck out at least once Thursday.

Mike Fiers became the second pitcher to strikeout at least 10 Cubs in five innings this season (Tyson Ross, July 24) and Fiers set a career-high (minors and majors) with 14 strikeouts. Fiers’ previous professional high (13) was set in May when he beat the Iowa Cubs. Fiers became the first pitcher since Bill Gullickson (Sept. 10, 1980) to strikeout 14 Cubs in six innings.

And the Cubs struck out 77 times during the seven-game homestand with seven walks.

With Thursday’s loss, the Cubs ended the homestand with a 3-4 record and dropped to 52-68 on the season.

Edwin Jackson retired Carlos Gomez (flyout to center) and Gerardo Parra (groundout to second) on four pitches to start the afternoon. Jackson then lost his command and walked both Jonathan Lucroy and Khris Davis. Jackson jumped ahead of Scooter Gennett (0-2 count) but in typical Jackson fashion he could not put him away and hung a slider on the next pitch. Gennett pulled a 1-2 pitch to deep right. The ball hit off the vines and the Brewers took a 2-0 lead when Lucroy and Davis scored. Jackson struck out Reynolds swinging to end the inning. Jackson threw 25 pitches, 13 for strikes, in the first inning.

The Cubs managed an Anthony Rizzo double with two-down in the first inning but that was all. After one complete, the Cubs trailed 2-0.

Edwin Jackson figured out a way to keep the Brewers off the board in the second inning. Mike Fiers struck out the side in order in the second, all called third strikes. The game went to the third with the Cubs down 2-0.

The Brewers removed any doubt of the outcome of Thursday’s game in the third inning. Jackson once again recorded two quick outs. Parra lined out to left on a 2-1 pitch and Lucroy grounded out to third on a 0-1 pitch. But Khris Davis pulled a 1-1 pitch through the wind and into the bleachers in left … 3-0 Brewers. Gennett lined out to left to end the inning. Jackson threw 53 pitches in three innings, 33 for strikes, in three innings.

The Cubs struck out two more times in the third. Mike Fiers struck out seven of the first nine batters he faced. And the game went to the fourth with the Cubs down 3-0.

Lyle Overbay singled to right with one out in the fourth. Elian Herrera pulled a 1-2 pitch down the first baseline. The ball hit the bag, bounced down the line and Overbay lumbered around the bases. Overbay scored on Herrera’s first triple of the season. Carlos Gomez smacked a 1-1 pitch into left. Herrera scored, 5-0 Brewers. With the Brewers up 5-0 and the wind blowing in, Gomez took off for second with Parra at the plate. The Cubs guessed right, pitched out and caught Gomez in a rundown between first and second before Baez eventually tagged him out. Jackson needed 76 pitches, 48 for strikes, to complete four innings.

Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a two out single to center in the fourth, the Cubs second hit of the game. After four innings, the Cubs were down 5-0.

Edwin Jackson could not get through the fifth inning. Lucroy singled with one out. After Rizzo made a terrific catch leaning over the railing and onto the Brewers dugout to retire Davis for the second out of the inning, Jackson walked Gennett and Rick Renteria finally decided that was enough for Jackson.

Jacob Turner made his Cubs debut and jammed Reynolds with a 2-2 pitch. Reynolds flied out to left to end the inning.

Welington Castillo worked a two-out walk in the fifth. But Fiers struck out the side, set a career high and the game went to the sixth with the Cubs down 5-0.

Jacob Turner worked a 1-2-3 sixth inning and Mike Fiers struck out three of the four batters he faced in the sixth. Anthony Rizzo managed a two-out single.

With the Cubs down 5-0, Turner set down the Brewers in order in the seventh.

The offense caught a break when Ron Roenicke went to his pen in the bottom of the seventh. Zach Duke replaced Fiers and Justin Ruggiano reached with a two-out single to center. Welington Castillo hit s slow roller toward short that Herrera made a good pick on, but he airmailed his throw to first. The ball ended up in the stands and the Cubs had runners on second and third with two outs. Chris Valaika hit for Turner and singled to left. Ruggiano and Castillo scored, 5-2 Brewers. Coghlan grounded out to short for the third out.

At the end of seven innings, the Cubs trailed 5-2.

Kyuji Fujikawa was next up out of the bullpen. Fujikawa recorded two quick outs when Davis popped out to Castro in foul ground and Gennett struck out swinging. Mark Reynolds pulled an 81 mph changeup into the bleachers in left … 6-2 Brewers. Fujikawa walked Overbay and Herrera singled to right. After a visit from Chris Bosio and the translator, Fujikawa caught pinch-hitter Rickie Weeks looking at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

Will Smith struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth and the game went to the ninth with the Cubs down 6-2.

The Brewers did nothing against Carlos Villanueva in the ninth and the Cubs did nothing against Jeremy Jeffress in the ninth to end the game.

The Cubs open a four-game series Friday night (6:10pm CDT) at Citi Field against the Mets. Travis Wood is scheduled to face Zack Wheeler.

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  • Jeff in Az

    Edwin Jackson is to yesterday what javier Baez is to tomorrow. Addition by subtraction is in order for this flop of a veteran arm. I realize there was no run support today but it is a bit deflating I’m sure for these young Cubs to go down by 5 runs so quick. We can’t trade this guy (no value and lots of money left on the contract) but we can stick him in the bullpen or the 60 day DL to evaluate some young arms. There is nothing left to evaluate with Jackson. If Zambtano were still around I’m sure he would tell is “He’s stinks”.

    Edwin Jackson should serve as a reminder to all of us that Theo is mortal. LOL

    • Larry Schwimmer

      I agree with your ideas on Jackson. And, while THEO had bad judgment on signing Jackson to “4 years,” (I’m sure NO ONE was competing for that signing:) — the good news is that he’ll be far more cautious in the future.

      With the way pitchers are going on the DL and requiring surgery, I would think twice about signing ANY pitcher for 6+ years @ $25 million per year.

      • Tony_H

        The way I understand it, others were offering 4/44 but the Cubs added a signing bonus of $8M to get him to say yes. But as you say, with the way pitchers go on the DL, some team will take a 2 year chance on EJAX this off-season if the Cubs pay down his deal 50% for 2015 and a variable amount in 2016 based on performance in 2015.

        • Larry Schwimmer

          I agree with you and hope that the CUBS are willing to take a big loss. The only thing, Tony, is that I don’t think anyone takes Jackson for 2 years at a 50% discount. That’s not enough to move Jackson.

          I think the bigger point is that when we see what’s happened to great pitchers like Verlander, Sabathia and even Tanaka — you realize that it’s very possible to spend $20+ million and have it end up as a disaster contract.

          Personally, if I was a GM, I’d rather find 2nd tier pitchers or one’s with potential that can be turned around like Arrieta (as THEO has over the past 3 seasons) and take my chances that I can put together a strong offense and great bullpen — rather than spend $20+ mil for 6-7 years for a pitcher that “today” looks like a premier pitcher but tomorrow could be having a TJ surgery.

          I hope there is at least ONE talented pitcher like Lester that cares about where he pitches — not just how much money he gets.

          After all, when you get paid $20 mil vs. $25 mil — do you say, “Sorry, I can’t live live on $20 mil…I really have to have that extra $5 mil per year :)

          • Tony_H

            I think you missed what I was saying. Someone would take EJAX on a 1 year $5/5.5M contract if he was a FA. Far too many examples of guys getting around that money with a lot less past success than EJAX. The 2nd year would be at 0.5M (min.) and would move up based on his 2015 season. So the trading team would be basically be like signing him to a 1 year $5/5.5M deal with a club option for up to $5/5.5M with a 500k buyout.

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

          I’m thinking there is no way EJax is around next season. I hate to cut bait on a guy with his potential, but he’s got to have worn out his welcome with his teammates. When he’s on the hill, I can imagine they’re discouraged.

  • cubtex

    6 innings and 14 K’s for Fiers? That’s incredible

  • GaryLeeT

    The good news about Jackson is that most of his contract was front loaded with a signing bonus. So it shouldn’t be that financially painful to trade him, or designate him as the new arm in the pen for use during blowouts.

    • Larry Schwimmer

      I’ll tell you some good news Gary: I’m fine with Baez striking out 4 times…but not at pitches waaaaaay out of the strike zone. I say it’s good news because that type of embarrassment will force him to change his approach. MLB pitchers know how to strikeout “swing for the fence” rookies like him.

      So, the quicker he learns to change his approach, the sooner he will be successful. I’m rooting for him. But there are no excuses for such wild swinging at pitches waaaaaaay out of the strike zone.

      • GaryLeeT

        His early ABs were all about trying too hard to impress. It may take a while, but I really do think that once maturity takes hold, his talent and physical ability will prevail.

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

          I agree. I think another conversation with Manny would help too. He gave him that good advice in minors, now Baez can share what he’s seeing and Manny can advise on how to deal with it. Baez seems to have Manny on a pedestal

  • cubtex

    Speaking of Fiers…..has anyone noticed the success the Brewers have had on late round picks from the 2009 draft? Kris Davis 7th round. Scooter Gennett 15th round and today’s 14 K starting pitcher Mike Fiers 22nd round. That is 3 unbelievable picks.

    • GaryLeeT

      But their farm system is ranked near the bottom. From what I hear, having the top system is all a team needs to become the next champion.

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

        It certainly helps over time I would venture to guess.

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

    I saw highlights and it appeared to be high heat that was getting all our guys out. That would indicate big eyes and HR swings.