Another loss for frustrated Jackson
Bad contracts seem to span the regimes when it comes to the Cubs.
It's still early to judge the deal the current Cubs bosses gave to pitcher Edwin Jackson, but in the early going, team president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer aren't getting much bang for the bucks.
Instead, Jackson is getting banged around by the opposition. He fell to 1-8 with a 6.29 ERA on Sunday after the Cubs fell 8-4 to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
An old bad contract, given by the old regime to reliever Carlos Marmol, continues to rear its ugly head. Marmol, who had a disastrous outing Saturday, came in for the eighth inning Sunday and gave up a run on 1 hit and 3 walks.
Fortunately for the Cubs, Marmol's three-year, $20 million deal will end after this season at the latest.
Perhaps unfortunately for the Cubs, Jackson signed a four-year, $52 million contract in January, and he has failed to look anything close to impressive.
"It's probably one of the most frustrating seasons I've been through," he said. "It's just disappointing when you feel like you're not going out and really helping the team have a chance to win the game. I'm a way better pitcher than I've been showing. It hasn't been anything about confidence. I haven't given up on confidence.
"I just haven't been getting the job done. I've been through a lot of up-and-down seasons, but this is definitely has been a pretty frustrating season to say the least, and it's shown in the stats and the numbers and everything."
Jackson threw 24 pitches in the first inning and 28 in the second on the way to 108 over his 52⁄3 for the day.
He worked out of trouble in the first inning but gave up 3 runs on 4 hits in the second. The Nos. 7 and 8 hitters for the Diamondbacks singled with one out in the second before Cubs backup center fielder Julio Borbon dropped a flyball off the bat of pitcher Patrick Corbin.
Two runs scored on Gerardo Parra's single and another scored on the second of 4 wild pitches uncorked by Jackson.
While Jackson took the heat, Cubs manager Dale Sveum focused on the error.
"There are some circumstances involved in today's outing," said Sveum, whose team has dropped two in a row and is 23-32. "I think dropping a routine flyball kind of got things set in the wrong direction. Obviously, you still have to make pitches after that, but the bottom line is those kind of things change outings. They change the course of a ballgame.
"He ended up an out away from having a pretty nice ballgame."
Maybe. Maybe not.
Jackson gave up 4 singles in the sixth, as the Diamondbacks scored 3 more to take a 7-4 lead.
"It's a good fastball-hitting team," Sveum said of Arizona. "Other than that, he got the ball on the ground. Again, for some reason, he has some bad luck with groundballs (not) going at people. There's a lot of groundballs that seem to find holes when he's on the mound."
As for Marmol, he got booed off the field Saturday after giving up 4 runs and 3 walks in one-third of an inning. It was 1 hit and 3 walks Sunday for Marmol, who got some help when the D'Backs ran into an out while trying to steal third base. Otherwise, it could have been much worse. As it was, Marmol threw 34 pitches in the eighth.
"I wanted to say away, in a game like that, from (James) Russell; he had already pitched three days in a row," Sveum said of his lefty reliever. "(Carlos) Villanueva, obviously, if we came back, we needed him. Had to get Marmol back out there."
He'd get plenty of arguments about that from those around Wrigley this weekend.
•Follow Bruce's Cubs and baseball reports via Twitter@BruceMiles2112, and check out his Chicago's Inside Pitch blog at dailyherald.com.
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