Ever get the feeling that it's never going to turn for Edwin Jackson, that this it what it is and what it's going to be?
Jackson turned in another uninspiring performance Wednesday night for the Cubs as they fell 4-1 to the Cincinnati Reds at chilly Wrigley Field.
Cubs scouting reportCubs vs. Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field
TV: Comcast SportsNet Thursday; WGN Friday and Saturday afternoon; FOX Saturday night
Radio: WGN 720-AM
Pitching matchups: The Cubs' Travis Wood (7-6) vs. Doug Fister (6-5) Thursday at 7:05 p.m.; Jason Hammel (6-5) vs. Tanner Roark (6-5) Friday at 3:05 p.m.; Dallas Beeler (ML debut) vs. Gio Gonzalez (6-5) Saturday at 12:05 p.m.; Jeff Samardzija (2-6) vs. TBD Saturday at 6:05 p.m.
At a glance: This is an odd four-game series, with a split doubleheader Saturday and no game Sunday. The Cubs took Sunday off to accommodate the Pride Parade. The Nationals fell 9-2 at Milwaukee Wednesday to fall to 41-36, but they still lead the NL East. They entered the day leading the NL in ERA (2.96). The Cubs were eighth at 3.55. Offensively, the Nats are a middle-of-the road club across the board. Adam LaRoche entered Thursday in the top 10 in batting average while Ian Desmond was in the top 10 in homers. The Nats are 18-19 on the road.
Next: Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Monday-Wednesday
-- Bruce Miles
The 30-year-old right-hander lasted just 5⅓ innings and gave up 6 hits and 4 runs as his record fell to 5-8 with a 5.22 ERA. Jackson walked four and was consistently behind hitters all night.
What's more, Jackson has not authored a quality start since May 17, when he turned in his best start in his one-plus seasons with the Cubs, going 7 scoreless innings against the Brewers.
But since then, it's been more of the same-old, same-old for Jackson, who has been the most maddening acquisition of the Theo Epstein-Jed Hoyer regime. The pair signed Jackson to a four-year, $52 million contract before the 2013 season.
Jackson went 8-18 with a 4.98 ERA last year. His ERA this June is 6.23.
"I've been feeling pretty good; I know the results haven't been quite what I want them to be on a consistent basis," he said. "Aside from the start in San Diego (8 runs in 4 innings on May 23), I've been feeling pretty good. It's tough results when you don't have the results according to how you feel.
"It's a long season. You keep grinding. You continue to work hard, and things can definitely turn around just as quick as they go sour. The main thing is you know you feel good and you have the confidence when you're taking the field, and you continue to grind and continue to work."
Jackson gave up a run in the first inning, and the Cubs got it back in the fourth on an RBI single by Starlin Castro. The 45 RBI by Castro are 1 more than he had all of last season.
While the rest of the Cubs offense was doing little against Reds starter Mat Latos, Cincinnati batters chased Jackson in the sixth with 3 runs.
"He went out there in the sixth and was OK," said Cubs manager Rick Renteria, whose club fell to 32-44. "He got to the heart of the lineup and wasn't able to get through there.
"I think he's had quite a few games where he's been able to get through a few of those innings. Both guys were pitching extremely well. We weren't able to get any more runs earlier. I thought he had a chance to go ahead and work himself through that inning. It just didn't work out."
Jackson is one of the most even-keeled players on the Cubs. His personality is pleasant and consistent every day. But it just hasn't translated to consistent success on the mound.
"He's had one or two outings that have been rough, but for the most part, most of the games he's pitched, he's kept us in the game," said catcher John Baker. "He's kept us in most of the time and given us a chance to win. I think the story for us is we're not scoring enough runs for these starting pitchers or for this bullpen."