Ever wonder what goes on during one of those mound conversations between pitcher and manager?
In the case of Saturday's 3-0 victory for the Cubs over the Brewers at Wrigley Field, it was starter Edwin Jackson lobbying manager Rick Renteria to let him stay in the game.
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Jackson entered the seventh inning having thrown 93 pitches. He got Mark Reynolds on a groundout before Jean Segura hit a single.
Out came Renteria with Cubs relievers warming up in the bullpen.
Jackson did most of the talking. He stayed in the game and retired the next two batters, ending his day on a high note.
"He wanted it," Renteria said. "I didn't say a whole lot. He said, 'I want this. I got this,' is what he said. 'I got this.' OK. Not a lot for me to say."
Jackson wound up with a pitch count of 115, but he threw the ball with as much conviction as he had since joining the Cubs as a free agent before last season.
"I was definitely just trying to let him know I want to finish that inning," Jackson said. "I had just given up an 0-2 hit by not executing a pitch, but I just wanted to let him know that I felt good and I felt confident that I could go out and finish the inning and throw strikes.
"He heard me. He listened to me. I guess he heard the conviction, and I was glad to be able to come out and walk off the field on my own."
Young guns blazing:
Young relievers Neil Ramirez and Hector Rondon finished off the Brewers in quick order after Edwin Jackson exited the game. The hard-throwing Ramirez struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth, and Rondon went 1-2-3 in the ninth to earn his fourth save in 4 chances.
Ramirez had not allowed a run over his last 5 relief appearances.
"Seeing them in the spring, we saw that they obviously had good arms," Rick Renteria said. "The video I had seen of them at the back end of last season looked very promising. It just happened that today, that's how it worked out, with Neil taking the eighth and Rondon the ninth. But all of our relievers have actually done, if you ask me, a great job."
Ruggiano to rehab:
Outfielder Justin Ruggiano (hamstring strain) will join Class AAA Iowa Sunday for a rehab assignment. If things go well, he'll start playing in games Monday. He went on the disabled list April 24.
Another outfielder, Ryan Sweeney, appears to be progressing slowly from his hamstring injury. He went on the DL May 3.
"He's actually just taking a step back," Rick Renteria said. "He's actually doing fine. He was in Mesa, and he's coming along.
"He just probably felt it a little lightly. He's been pushing it. He's been doing great. I think it's just more pushing it back a little bit."