7/11 Cubs 3, Cardinals 0

It’s been a crazy first half for Edwin Jackson, who seems to have found his groove. Jackson held the Cardinals to three hits over seven shutout innings to win his third straight start and Anthony Rizzo had two hits and three RBIs to lift the Cubs to a 3-0 victory Thursday.

The Cardinals boast the best record in baseball, but that didn’t seem to faze Jackson. The right-hander, who helped St. Louis win the World Series in 2011, struck out five and did not walk a batter. This was the first start this season in which he did not issue a walk, and the first time since Sept. 21 with the Nationals.

It was a good ending to what has been an inconsistent first half for Jackson, who signed a four-year, $52 million deal this offseason, his first long-term contract.

“Tonight, he was really sharp against the best offense in baseball,” manager Dale Sveum said of Jackson. “He had a lot more conviction with his pitches, and wasn’t worred about pitching as much as throwing. He pitched well tonight, had command, was hitting his spots, and had a really good slider. He got ahead, which I think was the biggest thing.”

After opening the season 3-10 with a 5.84 ERA in his first 15 starts, Jackson now is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his last three outings. How do you eliminate slow starts?

“If you had the answer to those things, we’d be a heck of a lot richer,” Sveum said.

“This is probably the craziest start I’ve ever had in baseball,” Jackson said. “It’s a game of grinding it out and as long as you believe you have the confidence that you can come in and turn things around, that’s all that matters. No one expected me to start like I did — myself, the front office, the team, my manager. It’s a game, you have to keep grinding. You can sink or you can swim. I’m definitely one of those guys who won’t give up.”

He could have. Teams were batting .286 against him in those first 15 games, and were hitting .203 in his last three.

“I never did lose confidence, even in the bad starts I had,” Jackson said. “You just have to work harder to get back to where you want to be.”

– Carrie Muskat

13 Comments

Celebrations all the way around! Wonderful game Cubbies. Thank you. Each of you contributed to a fine WIN. Now some will spend the day dissecting each and every one of you, pointing out your lack of this and lack of that but as a whole you are a team to be proud of your accomplishments. Focus on your positives guys and you will become more and more awesome – oh yes, have a chocolate sundae with all the trimmings on us! The cooking blog, the social blog, the animal lover’s blog are here and looking forward to another big “W” win today! Eamus Catuli

well dissecting the game is part of being a fan so thats exactly what I will do… thank you soriano for catching that final out…. that ball had some top spin and those can be hard to handle. Nice to see Rizzo producing. IF we could get Castro, Rizzo, and Soriano to produce, just average, for an extended period this team could be respectable BUT does FO want that to happen at this point?? Probably be better to throw in the towel and get the higher draft pick.

Actually I am still. No matter what he is always doing what he can, just like the other players. Castro and Rizzo haven’t been doing so well either but at least they’re improving! I know that maybe the numbers are low, and sure that’s important, but the whole team has been struggling. Now Barney has been making ME proud because I’m his biggest fan! Even when he’s doing bad he doesn’t just give up. And that’s why I’m proud. but then again that’s just me. And the whole team have been doing better then before..

Oh sorry that reply was suppose to go to the comment you made about Barney making me proud.

Mamma Mia – I read about the dust storm down there yesterday. Did it get anywhere near Mesa? Sounds like DeJesus will be down there soon. Hope you are getting some games in.

That was a good game! Yess! And that hit Barney made that got to the warning track!? It looked so beautiful off the bat but it was short :/ I know it was caught but it was still a great hit :) He has been making me proud lately!

ya his .214 ave .596 OPS -.1 WAR (yes NEGATIVE) and 2 errors are something you really should be proud of….

Hi Isabel – I have been wondering where you have been. So good to have your input on yesterday’s game. Sure was a fun one! And Barney did get a good whack at it! Too bad it was a bit short. :)). Looking forward to today’s game. You keep on rooting for our #1 guy. I will too. Positive input will win the day! Remember that for your whole long life. Love ya!

I’ve been here! Haha, it’s just something has been going on with my inbox so I was getting the emails late. But yes it was a good game! They have been doing so much better then before. Don’t worry I’m still rooting for my man Barney! He’s sorta struggling a bit but it’s okay, I know he’ll do better! :)

That was a good old fashioned, hard fought VICTORY! Couldn’t have happened vs. a better opponent. If we can crush the Cardinals chances of a playoff berth it may be worth losing draft pick slots……NOT.

When you say Jackson`s first half has been “inconsistent,” you are being polite. Any objective observer would say it was worse than that. He is a big reason we fell out of the pennant race early and are irrelevant now. Let`s hope going forward he can be the hurler we thought he was when we signed the man. Not long ago USA Today commented that “the Jackson signing was curious at the time, and now it is seen as just silly.” I want that observation proved wrong, and Edwin can accomplish that by giving us more solid performances like last night`s on a regular basis.

Agreed jhosk. I am hoping for much better outings from Jackson as I did not mind the signing at all, figuring he is a durable, innings eating pitcher with some past success….he was just BAD the first few months of the season. Between Jackson’s horrid first two months and Soriano’s first two horrid months the team was put in an early hole too deep to climb out. BUT…there is always the better draft picks next year thanks to Jackson’s and Soriano’s early, obvious and blatant failure. So we have THAT going for us. Maybe both will now get hot and Jackson CAN help the club the next few years and Soriano CAN help the club by allowing a trade. Plenty of blame to go around (Marmol and Sveum for sure) but those two culprits STAND OUT.

And Jackson’s start helped a lot! I was watching the interview with him after the game and he said that this game was one of the best he’s had. I hope he has better ones then last night! But he still did a great job!

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