Much has been said about Cubs pitcher Edwin Jackson, and most of it has not been good.
So it was left for Jackson to say it himself Saturday after yet another rough outing in the Cubs' 11-6 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field.
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Jackson lasted only 3⅔ innings as he gave up 7 hits, 9 runs and 3 home runs, including 2 to Chris Johnson and 1 to Braves pitcher Mike Minor. Jackson's record fell to 5-10, and his ERA rose from 5.05 to 5.64.
"It's just one of those games, it's just an embarrassing, horrendous game, flat out," Jackson said. "There's no other way to put it. The team does a great job in battling back and you continuously go out and give up the lead, pretty much it's unacceptable. It's definitely one of those games to put way back in the back of the memory bank."
Jackson gave up 2 runs in the second, 1 in the third, and he was charged with 6 in the fourth inning, when the Braves chased him.
The Cubs and Braves were tied at 3-3 after three innings, and the Cubs came right back with 3 more in the bottom of the fifth, but it wasn't enough to overcome the hole Jackson had dug for them.
"At the end of the day, you're pitching in the big leagues," he said. "Any major-league team, if you're leaving balls in the middle of the plate and up, I feel like it doesn't matter who you're pitching against. Those balls can be hit. Pretty much, I have to do a better job of executing and keeping the ball down and making them make adjustments, which I didn't do today.
"You have two options. Either you can accept it and you can fold. You can take it as a slap in the face and you can turn it around and do something about it. We have a long second half. There's definitely a lot of baseball left, and I feel like I can definitely turn things around and have a better second half and have the whole first half forgotten about."
Jackson presents a real problem for the Cubs. They signed him to a four-year, $52 million contract before last season, when he went 8-18 with a 4.98 ERA. With the recent trades of starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, the Cubs need Jackson to step up along with Jake Arrieta and Travis Wood because the rest of the rotation will be filled with rookies.
Manager Rick Renteria was asked if there were any plans to change Jackson's role.
"Good question," Renteria said. "I don't think that's anything we're even ... I would say the answer is no."
Renteria tried to chalk up Saturday's brutal outing as one of those days. But there have been a lot of those days in a year-and-a-half from Jackson.
"To me, today was just not his day," the manager said. "Both sides were kind of going back and forth with scoring runs on each other. We just tried to help him out a little. It just wasn't his day."