The Cubs launched a two-pronged attack Saturday during their 3-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field.
Starting pitcher Edwin Jackson relentlessly attacked Brewers hitters with a fastball that clocked up to 96 mph and a slider that broke and bit.
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It was Jackson's best start in his one-plus seasons with the Cubs, and he worked 7 innings, striking out 11.
On offense, the Cubs struck quickly -- getting all 3 of their runs in the first inning.
They did it by attacking former teammate Matt Garza. Leadoff hitter Emilio Bonifacio opened the bottom of the first inning by bunting the ball back at Garza for a basehit.
Garza has trouble throwing the ball after fielding it, but in fairness to him, he had to run in toward the plate, and few pitchers would have gotten the speedy Bonifacio.
After that, Chris Coghlan sacrificed -- right back at Garza. After an out, the Cubs got an RBI double from Starlin Castro, a walk to Nate Schierholtz and a 2-run double by Welington Castillo.
That was pretty much ballgame.
The Cubs talked gingerly around the Garza fielding issue.
"I just wanted to put a good bunt," Bonifacio said. "But if you (bunt) it at him and really hard, he'll run to the base, and that's why I tried to put down a good bunt."
Castillo, who caught Garza in the past, knew what the Cubs were up to.
"He's got a problem throwing the ball; we know that," Castillo said. "A couple went straight at him, and I think that worked a little bit for us. You know what? That's his problem. No matter if he knows or doesn't know that's coming, if you have something going on, something wrong, you know other teams are trying to get you, and we're just trying to get on base."
Garza didn't seem as upset about the bunts as he did about falling to 2-4 with a 4.83 ERA.
"Of course, I'm frustrated, man," he said. "What do you think, I'm happy? It's the worst freaking start of my career, dude. Yeah, I'm frustrated. I hate this, this feeling. So it's keep grinding and keep getting ready every five days. That's about all I can do."
Jackson stranded two Brewers in the first inning and sailed after that as he improved to 3-3 with a 3.98 ERA. In addition to the 11 strikeouts, none of the other 10 outs he recorded reached the outfield; they were either groundouts or popouts to the catcher or infielders.
Jackson has remained on an even keel during his entire time with the Cubs. That includes last year, when he was 8-18 with a 4.98 ERA.
"Like I said before, man, sometimes the game is crazy," he said. "It's always easy to say what's what when things are going bad. When things are going good, it's always (easy) to look positive. But I felt comfortable. I felt comfortable last year. Last year, I just didn't get the job done. I started off the year slow this year, but I felt good.
"You just continue to work hard and continue to battle. It's a long season. As long as you don't give in and you know what you're capable of doing, you just have to go out and do it."