April wasn't much of a month for the Cubs overall.
One guy who'd like to put it in his rearview mirror is pitcher Edwin Jackson. In Tuesday night's 13-7 loss to the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field, Jackson saw his April record fall to 0-4 and his ERA rise from 4.76 to 6.72.
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Jackson, a right-hander the Cubs signed to a four-year, $52 million contract this past January, was rocked for 11 hits and 8 runs in just 4 innings.
The Cubs finished the month 10-16. There's plenty of time for Jackson to turn it around, but it's obvious he needs to clean a few things up first.
"I think overall, it's been a pretty disappointing month for myself ... to the organization and to the fans," Jackson said. "But it's a test of character. It's one of those times where you can either crumble and fold, or you can fight and bounce back. I definitely haven't been known to be one to fold.
"It's just a matter of getting back on track and throwing the ball like I know how to throw the ball."
In previous starts this year, it seemed that one bad inning hurt Jackson. On Tuesday, the Padres put up 2 runs in the second inning and 1 in the third before they sent 10 men to the plate in the fifth inning, scoring 5 runs.
Manager Dale Sveum said the rough outings have been the result of Jackson "losing complete command of his fastball."
Overall, the starting pitching has been good for the Cubs, who suffered in April from defensive lapses and a lack of hitting with runners in scoring position.
"Edwin had, obviously, a tough day," Sveum said. "Like I said earlier today, the fastball location just wasn't there today. A lot of pitches middle-middle. He didn't make a lot of quality pitches when he had to. We've got to keep plugging away with him and get him straightened out.
"It's just a month into the season, but we've got to get mechanical or whatever it is. ... He's got it in him. Obviously the stuff and everything is there. We've just got to get it out of him."
The Cubs did get some hitting. They got home runs Tuesday from Luis Valbuena, Starlin Castro, David DeJesus and Cody Ransom.
"The biggest thing right now why we're 10-15 (entering the game) and not 15-10 is just timely hitting," Sveum said. "Twenty-five games in a row have been decided by 4 runs or less. You get a little more timely hitting and hit .250 instead of .150 with men in scoring position, that's a lot of runs in 25 games."
Clock ticks on Stewart:
Third baseman Ian Stewart's minor-league rehab time at Class AAA Iowa will reach its 20-day limit Friday, but Stewart is neither looking nor sounding ready. He has been on the mend from a strained left quad since the early days of spring training in February.
At Iowa, Stewart had only 4 hits in his first 40 at-bats in 12 games.
"Right this second, I don't think I'm ready," he told the Des Moines Register. "That's just me being honest and knowing myself as a player."
The Cubs have been in no hurry to activate Stewart, as they've gotten good production from Luis Valbuena and Cody Ransom at third base.
"He's got to start swinging the bat better, having more consistent at-bats," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum. "Wait and see."
Stewart told the Register his readiness is more about his comfort level than it is about the numbers.