5/17 Cubs 3, Brewers 0

Edwin Jackson looked like the pitcher the Cubs wanted when they signed him to a four-year contract. Matt Garza fielded like the pitcher the Cubs traded. Jackson struck out 11 and served up four hits over seven innings in the Cubs’ 3-0 win Saturday over Garza and the Brewers. The 11 K’s were a season-high for Jackson, and marked his seventh-career game in which he’s reached double-digit strikeouts. Milwaukee did not record a single fly ball out against Jackson, who has given up four earned runs over 20 innings in his last three starts for a 1.80 ERA.

Part of the Cubs’ plan was to try to throw Garza off. Emilio Bonifacio took advantage of the Brewers’ defensive alignment and Garza’s reputation for fielding miscues by bunting to lead off the first. Garza did have trouble getting a grip on the ball. Bonifacio advanced on Chris Coghlan’s sacrifice, and one out later, Starlin Castro hit an RBI double off the right-field wall. Nate Schierholtz walked, and both he and Castro scored on Castillo’s double to left for a 3-0 lead.

Asked if they were trying to take advantage of Garza, Rick Renteria downplayed the back to back bunt attempts.

“I’m not going to get into that,” Renteria said. “We tried to get on base by putting the ball in his general area early.

“What we were trying to do was just get on base,” he said. “We were using the bunt early to try to do it. It just worked out. That’s the bottom line. The run-producing hits ended up coming with two outs. We had some good at-bats. it was only three runs, and ‘Jax’ did the rest. He did a great job. You have to tip your hat to him.”

Bonifacio said he knew of Garza’s defensive yips, but said he was just trying to bunt for a hit. Coghlan also was trying for a bunt single, but foul-tipped the ball, and then went for the sacrifice.

“That was what the plan was, that’s what Skip wanted [was for them to bunt],” Coghlan said. “[Bonifacio] got a hit, we moved him over and Castro got the big double.”

Garza’s reaction?

“First inning was a hiccup, and it [stinks],” he said. “It’s kinda been what it’s been like all year, it just [stinks]. I’m just going to keep going, keep grinding, keep working out and keep going. It’s going to come together sooner or later.”

Back to Jackson. He made it clear to Renteria in the seventh what his intentions were. The Brewers’ Jean Segura had singled with one out when the manager went to the mound. Jackson did most of the talking.

“He wanted it,” Renteria said. “I didn’t say a whole lot. He said, ‘I want this. I got this,’ is what he said. There wasn’t a whole lot for me to say.”

“I just wanted to let him know I wanted to finish that inning,” Jackson said. “I’d just given up a single on an 0-2 pitch from not executing a pitch. I felt confident I could go out and finish the inning. He heard me, he listened to me, and heard the conviction. I was glad I was able to walk off the field on my own.”

With the win, the Cubs snapped a three-game losing streak and now are 12 games behind the National League Central-leading Brewers.

“I believe in these guys,” Renteria said of the Cubs. “Are things as well as you’d want them to be? Of course not. It’d be foolish for me to say they’re where they’re supposed to be. I think we need to play better, we need to go out and continue to perform and do the little things. We have to start doing some things here at home, overcoming some deficits sometimes.”

– Carrie Muskat

14 Comments

Is so good to hear our Cubbies won a game. This is uplifting. California Chrome also won today at Baltimore. That`s the horse I told you all about two weeks ago at the Kentucky Derby. If you forgot, you can check the archives, specifically May 3rd. If a horse can be both a favorite and a long shot at the same time, this is that horse. It will, no doubt, be named the favorite at the Belmont three weeks from now. But the same horse is a long shot to win the Triple Crown, as it`s one of the most difficult things to accomplish in all of sports. It`s been 36 years since it was done, and 12 horses since then have been in the same position as California Chrome is now, meaning they all 12 won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, but failed to win the third. Could this be the animal which changes that narrative? Am wanting the Cubs to win tomorrow and continue winning on a regular basis, as being the team with the worst record in all of major league baseball does not sit well with me. Not even a little.

jhosk – You were the first person I thought about today when I heard that California Chrome had won! A Triple Crown would be just fine! Thank you for sharing his story a while back! The Cub’s win today was SO NEEDED and let’s go for another tomorrow! And the next day! :))) Ad infinitum. Why should we have to keep waiting for the next wave of players – we can win NOW. Have a good evening and send good vibes to the Cubs for tomorrow! Can’t hurt! :))

Thanks, White. I recall when Garza was with us, how he found it a challenge to make throws in the infield. Apparently, that was the case today ,as I did not see the game, when the lead-off man bunted etc. I recall when Garza was our property, making the point that, if I were a manager, I`d ask all the batters in the lineup to bunt when facing Garza, until he could prove he could field such bunts and make the throws successfully.

Yes jhosk, he still can’t field bunts. He didn’t look very happy today. I remember when he was a Cub he used to stand at the front of the dugout smiling and cheering the team on. Today he sat in the back of the dugout looking glum. Mixed emotions?

Maybe Garza is hanging out with Aramis Ramirez these days !

Good to see EJax get his third win…….I think we found our “Ace” !

Yeah we did, his name is Samardzija!

If Shark is, he will be someone’s else “Ace” by August !

Wait a minute, the Cubs had a plan; when did this start? Bunting is a strategic plan…what’s next, walking? I forgot that’s Rizzo’s game plan; he’d most likely be hitting in the 230’s if not for the walks. Rizzo needs to stop looking and start turning in and driving the ball if he’s going to be successful against the shift as they will just keep pitching inside right into it, the reason why the high walk total. Olt starting to look like the new Adam Dunn.

“he’d most likely be hitting in the 230’s if not for walks” sorry but that doesn’t make sense. How much he walks doesn’t affect his BA it only effects OBP. And walks are a good thing don’t get it mixed up, especially with the way Castro is swinging it behind him right now

Also I would like to add that just a couple days ago Rizzo bunted against the shift twice to get on base, then in his 3rd at bat they took the shift off, he walked and Castro turned it into a 2 run HR. Walks are very productive

briney212, great post.

Actually, it would be great if Olt does turn into Adam Dunn. When Dunn was 25, the same age as Olt is today, he was one of the more-feared hitter in the NL. He wasn’t always the guy who struggles to hit over .200, like he is today at the age of 34. Plus Olt is already a better fielder at his position than Dunn was at his, so if he becomes like mid-20s Adam Dunn with a better glove, it would only help the Cubs. Of course, just make sure you trade him away before he becomes like early-30s Adam Dunn… but that’s still several years down the road.

You go briney!

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