Among the many misleading stats in baseball, a pitcher's win-loss record is right up there.
For the most part, though, the Cubs' Edwin Jackson has pitched to his 8-17 mark.
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Cubs scouting reportCubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field
TV: Comcast SportsNet Monday and Tuesday; WGN Wednesday
Radio: WGN 720-AM
Pitching matchups: The Cubs' Jeff Samardzija (8-12) vs. Charlie Morton (7-4) Monday at 7:05 p.m.; Chris Rusin (2-5) vs. Gerrit Cole (9-7) Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.; Jake Arrieta (3-2) vs. Francisco Liriano (16-7) Wednesday at 1:20 p.m.
At a glance: This is the final home series of the year for the Cubs. The Pirates are in good shape for a playoff berth, but they still are trying to catch the Cardinals to win the NL Central. Andrew McCutchen is a leading MVP candidate with his line of .321/.406/.514 heading into Sunday's game. McCutchen also is among the leaders in walks and extra-base hits. The Pirates entered Sunday second in the NL in ERA (3.25), while the Cubs were 11th (3.96). The Cubs are 6-10 against the Bucs this year, 3-3 at Wrigley Field.
Next: St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, Friday-Sunday
-- Bruce Miles
Jackson did have a decent enough outing in Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field. Jackson went 6-plus innings and allowed 8 hits and 3 runs. He gave up a booming 2-run homer against a strong wind to Freddie Freeman in the first inning and a solo shot to Andrelton Simmons in the fourth.
Jackson is the team leader in losses for the Cubs, and just to show how little you can go by win-loss records, the Cubs pointed out before the game in their notes that Jackson had a chance to lead the team in both wins and losses this season.
"It's tough to pay attention to win-and-loss records," said Jackson, who has an ERA of 4.74. "You can be the best pitcher in the league, numerically, and have a terrible win-loss record.
"It's pretty much the games you gave away, that's the only thing you pretty much look back on, the losses that were terrible.
"You can have some losses in there that were close where you still give the team a chance to win. It's more the losses where you didn't give the team a chance to win that you look back on and try to take back."
Jackson, who signed a four-year, $52 million contract last winter, is one of three starters penciled into the rotation for next year, along with Travis Wood and Jeff Samardzija.
For most of this year, manager Dale Sveum has harped on the theme that Jackson has to command his fastball to be successful with his other pitches.
"I thought Jackson, that was one of the better games he's pitched, actually," said Sveum, whose team fell to 65-91. "The 2-run homer early by Freeman, but other than that, that's what I was talking about today.
"He threw his curveball a lot. He threw his changeup more than he has all year. Obviously, he had a good slider today, a really good slider, and command of his fastball."
It ended up being an academic exercise for the Braves, who clinched the National League East title during the game when the second-place Washington Nationals lost to Miami. Still, the Cubs had to watch as the Braves celebrated on the field on their way into a champagne-soaked clubhouse.
"It's tough," said Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro. "Not tough; I'm happy for those guys. They played very good baseball. I think it will us being like that one day, pretty soon."