9/16 Brewers 6, Cubs 1
Edwin Jackson lost Monday’s game and his argument with manager Dale Sveum in the dugout. Jackson gave up two runs in an abbreviated four-inning start and made an error in the Cubs’ 6-1 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park. But it was his animated discussion with Sveum after he was pulled that was the focus. The right-hander was lifted after throwing 76 pitches in his shortest start since lasting three innings on May 23. Jackson gave up two hits and three walks, and he committed one of three errors in the game by the Cubs. Then the fireworks.
After he was replaced by pinch-hitter Brian Bogusevic in the fifth, Jackson was seen in the Cubs dugout arguing with Sveum. Bench coach Jamie Quirk, pitching coach Chris Bosio and a few players also were present. Jackson then went into the clubhouse.
“He wasn’t real happy being taken out of the game and I understand that,” Sveum said. “That’s my decision, and I’ll leave it at that.”
Was it Jackson’s performance on the field that prompted Sveum to make the switch? The Cubs trailed 2-0 at that point and Jackson was to bat third in the fifth.
“He was already at 75 pitches, and I felt as many one-run games that we play and in this ballpark, I was going to take a shot at tying it back up and making sure we score that one run,” Sveum said. “He was at 75 pitches, and he wasn’t happy with coming out of the game at that point and not getting to five innings. You respect that about players who want to stay in the game, and I made that decision.”
Jackson said he still felt strong despite the high pitch count at that point.
“I was just ready to go,” Jackson said. “As a pitcher, we’re always ready to go. We have a lot of competitors on this team. We’re ready to battle at all times. Everybody wants to stay in the game, the whole staff wants to stay in the game. He made his decision that he wanted to pinch-hit.”
What set off Sveum?
“I don’t know,” Jackson said. “I don’t have a problem with him, I’m sure he doesn’t have a problem with me. Something happened, but it’s not really a big deal. It might be made more of a big deal than it is, it might be blown out of proportion more than it really is. I don’t have a problem with anybody on the staff.”
Jackson ended up with the loss, and is now tied for the most losses in the Major Leagues with the Astros’ Lucas Harrell at 16. That’s not what the right-hander probably expected when he signed a four year, $52 million contract with the Cubs in the offseason.
“It’s the competitive nature,” Jackson said. “We see it all the time in football.”
Was he surprised at Sveum’s outburst?
“Maybe a little bit,” Jackson said. “But right after that, I didn’t have a problem, I didn’t have a problem with him, I still don’t have a problem with him. No grudges or anything like that.”
On this night, Caleb Gindl hit an RBI triple, a single, and a two-run home run to help Starling Peralta pick up the win. In the Milwaukee fourth, Scooter Gennett singled with one out and scored on Gindl’s triple. Gindl then tallied on Martin Maldonado’s sacrifice, and Maldonado was safe at second on Jackson’s throwing error. Peralta lined out to third baseman Luis Valbuena, but he overthrew second and Maldonado moved up on the error. Aoki struck out to end the inning. Then Jackson was told his day was done.
“I was caught off guard a little bit,” he said. “That’s the nature of the game. He’s the manager. He can make the calls whenever he feels like he needs to.”
The Cubs would need a strong finish to pass the Brewers and not finish last in the NL Central. It’s surprising there haven’t been more problems.
“We have a group of guys who are going to go out there and fight, good year, bad year, good game, bad game,” Jackson said. “It’s been a crazy year for us but like I said, everybody is out working every day and striving to get better.”
– Carrie Muskat