A long time ago, Edwin Jackson wasn't terrible.... Giants 8 Cubs 3

The Cubs started the day with a three game winning streak, and by the end of the day the Cubs had snapped a two game winning streak. And it felt every bit of a negative win tonight with Edwin Jackson doing Edwin Jackson things.


Source: FanGraphs

Edwin Jackson

Baez Bright Spot
Javier Baez was one of the lone bright spots on the night for the Cubs. He made contact in each of his four at bats, and managed to hit a solid single. Baez playing short stop for the first time at the major league level was the highlight though. He was never really challenged tonight, but he made all the plays that were afforded to him. It was a nice showing, and almost the only positive thing that could be drawn from this, lets be charitable and call it a, game.

Cubs Bullpen
Edwin Jackson only last 2.2 innings tonight, and with a suspended game make up plus normal game to play tomorrow could have been disastrous. Carlos Villanueva gave up a home run, but did yeoman's work to get the game to the seventh inning. Kyuji Fujikawa was also tested a bit pitching two scoreless innings. All in all the damage to the Cubs pen could have been enormous, but those two allow the staff to fight another long day tomorrow.

Random Reference
I honestly don't have much desire to think about this game anymore. Instead in honor of Star Wars night here is Family Guy's take on the Cantina scene.

Three Stars
Third Star-Carlos Villanueva (3.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 3 K)
Villanueva threw the most of any Cubs pitcher today and gave the Cubs a chance to come back. It never materialized, but he was the most valuable Cubs player in my book. Plus he threw a ridiculous 57 mph pitch. Which is just 200_s

Second Star-Jake Peavy (7 IP, 2 ER, 10 H, 0 BB, 8 K)
Jake Peavy was surprisingly effective. The Cubs made a move in the second inning with an unlikely Chris Valaika home run, but were stymied the rest of the night. Peavy got into some minor trouble allowing a number of hits, but kept the Cubs off the board with either strikeouts or double play balls the rest of the night. A quality start for the struggling starter whose team's fortunes has changed dramatically in the past six hours.

First Star-Travis Ishikawa (3-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR)
Ishikawa was the unlikely hero for the Giants. His 3 for 5 night proved the most decisive in the game. He also made several spectacular defensive plays as well. It isn't quite Jimmy Anderson's miraculous run against the Cubs, but it was no less frustrating watch a guy on his fifth team in three seasons play like an All-Star even for just a night.

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Tags: Cubs Recap


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  • A scout I met the other night at a minor league game has known Edwin since he was in high school. He told me that he simply is not that hard of a worker. He did not expect him to rebound and did not believe the Cubs would be able to get more than pennies on the dollar for him in any sort of offseason trade. The scout worked for an unnamed AL West team and only brought it up when we were between games of a doubleheader on a day where Edwin had a really bad start and I was wearing a Cubs cap.
    (only put the last part in there for context haha)

  • I really had the sense that RR has seen enough of E Jax, and not just in tonight's game. Beeler, Straily, Rusin, or Jacob Turner might at least get us into the 6th. Please, no more.

  • Please ... please send Edwin Jackson somewhere. I don't care where. Whether it's the bullpen, minors, waivers, mars it does not matter. Pay 50 ... 75% of his salary.

    He is hurting this team every time he goes out there. I don't believe the FIP and xFIP numbers. They HAVE to be fiction.

    I'm sick and tired of seeing 3-5 IP and 4-7 ER every time he takes the mound. The fifth spot would be better used on one of the kids (Turner).

    He doesn't seem to care to improve either, and I'm tired of hearing his usual "I felt good but I just missed my spots. I'm fine" BS after every start.

    He may arguably be the worst starter in the MLB right now, that's how poorly he is pitching.

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    In reply to Average Samaritan:

    In Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson, the Cubs have 2 of the worst 3 qualified starters in the majors, by run prevention.

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    In reply to Average Samaritan:

    There's a specific class of pitchers who tend to underperform their fielding independent numbers. These guys often:

    1. Struggle to hold runners and generally control the running game.
    2. Allow a large number of line drives and hard-hit ground balls (which most fielding independent formulae don't adjust for).
    3. Don't pitch well from the stretch.

    I can't exhaustively check the statistics for all of those, and particularly on number 3 I wouldn't even know where to start, but EJ seems to check all the boxes, and he's getting worse. His line drive rate is way up from his career numbers and it gets worse with runners on base. His pace, which measures the amount of time between when he receives the ball and when he releases it is way up since he joined the Cubs as well. Part of that is just that he's allowing way more base runners which slows every pitcher down, but it also perhaps seems that he's not very comfortable out there.

    Honestly though, a huge part of what's happening to him is bad luck, or at the very least a deviation from his career performance with runners on base. For his career, he actually allows fewer line drives and not significantly more home runs with runners on base; he just allows more walks. It's depressing to think he's lost his ability to turn it up a notch when he has to, but that, plus his absurd LD%, is what's really killing him. If you squint, click your heals and say "there's no place like regression" three times, there's a bit of upside there, but having watched him all season, it's harder and harder to believe in that.

  • In reply to Nathan King:

    I would love to do that, but I cannot find any ruby baseball cleats.

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    In reply to Average Samaritan:

    Actually, I don't doubt that he "felt good" (is uninjured) and "just missed his spots." One look at the line score--never mind watching the game--will tell us that! It is his way of saying, "No, no, I am really that bad."

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    More like the truth-Edwin the Donkey really sucks.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    Edwin Jackson: single-handedly debunking the notion that FIP and xFIP are greater predictors of future performance than ERA. LOL.

    I really hope the Cubs just DFA him. There's no "there" there (and maybe there never was). He's the very definition of a sunk cost and it's better to move on and accept those loses than let them weigh you down in the future over some unlikely hope that something can be salvaged.

  • Hes helping the Cubs cause in a hunt for a top draft pick. Go ahead and start him in the suspended game tomorrow too.

    Seriously, I think this may have been his last appearance in a Cub uniform, even by Jackson's standards he has been miserable. Time for a DFA (or bogus season ending DL excuse such as tendinitis to get him off the team).

  • He's got to go. Shop him around for the next few days (the only way a team takes him is in a swap of another bad contract so waivers don't really matter in this case) and if no one wants him release him.

    Him making a start every 5th day over Beeler, Straily, Doubront, Turner, or even Villanueva is making this team worse, and we are past the point of tainking for a higher draft pick.

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    In reply to MendyMania7:

    No one will claim him on waivers because everyone knows we would just say, "He's yours" and start giggling manically. We'll still be on the hook for $11M each of the next 2 years for him, but there are worse contracts to "eat." Especially since it would make the highest paid players on the "active" payroll:
    Starlin Castro $5M
    Carlos Villanueva $5M (free agent next year)
    Kyuji Fujikawa $4.5M (500K buyout next season or $5.5M...I doubt it gets picked up)
    Travis Wood $3.9M

    ALL other contracts are less than $2M, the vast majority are A LOT less than $2M. Also, most Arb Eligible players are not likely to get large raises. Wood might even get a small decrease (the max decrease through arbitration is 20%). If there are any TOR pitchers looking to be part of something potentially monumental then CHC might be a good place to start looking.

    We are past the point of "tanking" this season. We have nothing but good teams to face and I think we will be better served finding out what we have in Strailly, Doubront, and Turner. Maybe give each of them 3 consecutive turns in the rotation and see what happens.

  • Seems like a lost cause and I had a lot of hope for him. Really tough for a guy to like him to even move to the bullpen, when he gives so much of his runs up in his first inning.

    Whatever problems he needs to work out, I would prefer he not work them out here with the Cubs.

  • This feels like the end of the line for Jackson. Can't see any point to pitching him in the bullpen either, unless it's strictly in blowouts. He's become an insult to the fan base. Hey, nice game for Luis V. Sorry for whatever is up with Castro's family.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Was-26 runs in 25 first innings of his starts. Only 6 times has he been unscored upon in the 1st inning of a start. Thats not what I want out of a releif pitcher. Edwin the Donkey cant pitch out of the stretch either.

  • That title is awesome.

  • In reply to Bandito Blanco:


  • Jackson's next scheduled start would be Tuesday 26 August in Cincy. I do not see that the Cubs have the roster flexibility to let someone from Iowa make Jackson's next start (without DL-ing Jackson). However, Turner is "starting" the suspended game today, so he could in principle make Jackson's start on the 26th.

    That said, Jackson would have only two more starts before the rosters expand, so we may just have to suffer through another week and a half. Then Turner, Doubrount, and Straily can all give it a go. There has to be some sorting out of these three guys this year.

  • It actually looks like we got some nice pitching in this game: 6.1 IP, 1 run, 8 Ks, no walks, on 6 hits. I'll take that quality start any day! Oh, wait, that was the relief corps stats...

  • In reply to TokyoCraig:

    It's sad when the team would be better served by letting the bullpen start and keeping the starter on the bench,....

    Jackson needs to go,.... and even IF that whole remaining $20+MM has to get eaten to do it,..... it's probably worth it. In terms of WAR - how many wins has he cost this team, and how many would he be causing if we just keep trotting the guy out there every 5 days for the next 2+ years?


  • Is it beneath the class and dignity of this site for me to say that Edwin Jackson F%#k!n SUCKS! I can't take any more his atrociousness. I just can't stand it. Please make it stop!

  • In reply to TTP:

    You are not alone!

  • I'd trade Edwin Jackson for a box of sunflower seeds!

  • In reply to Cubs fan in Mesa:

    The sunflower seeds might be worth more.

  • EJ should have his name legally changed to Edlose Jackson.

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    Ejax is barely worth the major league minimum salary right now. The only possible trade is a zambrano-volstadt type deal.

  • I only lasted a little longer than EJax. I had to turn it off after Villanuava gave up the last HR what was that 3 and 1/3 maybe. I suffered through all of the bad as it turned out.

  • We need to DFA EJax and eat his salary. Nobody wants him (well, we can pray) and we don't need him influencing our minors. He is to the point of being disinterested. A role in the bullpen will not cut it either. He didn't know where the ball was going last night once he released it and he didn't care. The only time I saw him with any sense of a workmanlike attitude was when he banged out the basehit when he was at the plate.

  • So, what's the problem with Jackson? I mean, beyond the generalization that he stinks (which is obvious), he has shown the ability to pitch well on occasion. What is he doing differently now? Has there been a change in his mechanics or is he simply uncoachable?

  • All you guys are spot on regarding Jackson. In my 58 years as a die-hard fan, I don't believe that I have ever seen a Cub starting pitcher perform so poorly, on average, over almost 60 starts. (If there has been one, please tell me who it was.)

    This FO has performed well by and large but signing Jackson to that 4-year deal ranks with Hendry's Bradley signing. I would like to think that the FO hasn't been keeping him in the rotation just to try to save some face. That would be a terrible indictment.

    Jackson has been dragging the young Cubs down, down, down for months now. These days, if you have been watching Rizzo's body language whenever he has to interact with Jackson on or near the mound, you know what I'm talking about.

    To hear that an AL scout suggests that Jackson is not that hard of a worker makes me sick to my stomach. My family and I have been everyday season ticket holders for 30 years, for years using social security money to pay for the two seats. Jackson pitches as if he has his 50+ million waiting for him in the dugout and he can't wait to get back in there to sit with it.

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    If I owned the Cubs, I would call Renteria up and ask him if he planned on Jackson making his next start. If he said yes, I'd fire him. Not trying to win is unacceptable. Every guy we've brought up to pitch has been better than Jackson. Enough is enough. Two months ago it was enough.

  • In reply to Terry Huebner:

    RE: "If I owned the Cubs, I would call Renteria up and ask him if he planned on Jackson making his next start. If he said yes, I'd fire him. "

    Except for the Front Office tells Renteria who they want to play and not to play, as well as players they want to see, etc. Renteria makes decisions in game but he has a "general outline" that the FO goes over with him all the time regarding the lineup, playing time, etc.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Perhaps, but I would certainly tell Theo that enough is enough. I suspect that Renteria has some say in the matter as well.

  • In reply to Terry Huebner:

    think Renteria has been in baseball long enough to understand the situation, I dont think anything is about "what renteria wants".

  • Props for writing about a ugly game. We need a clear eyed analysis of options for Ejax.

    Gut feeling is fine for most blogs but we've got a better community than that.

  • In reply to rsanchez11:

    My vote, btw, is to put him on waivers immediately. If someone picks him up and we get even a bit of salary relief that's great.
    Our benefits would be a roster spot and psychological relief.

  • To me the worst thing about Jackson is the negative effect he has on the rest of the team. It must be discouraging to stand out there and helplessly watch, saying: "I'm embarrassed to be seen." How can the other players really get into the game and fight?

  • Actually guys lets look at the EJax situation at a different angle. I propose sending EJax out there the rest of the season on 3 days rest. Now before you throw rotten apples and tomatoes at me consider, 1) He only lasts into the 4th inning most starts . 2) He rarely gets over 80 pitches 3) He can take innings off guys arms like Hendrick, Arrieta ect. ( guys who are actually good ) 4) Most importantly ,putting Ejax out there every 4th game is a solid golden ticket in the Dazmon Cameron /Matuella sweepstakes . 5) Cubs can never get the 25M or so still owed to EJax back but Ejax can single handedly generate millions in slotcash for the FO by his epic suckiness. whooo outta breath . that I meant to be as hard and painful to read as it is to watch Ejax for even 1 inning. Sorry Denizens .

  • I used to appreciate E-Jax's even keel. Never too emotionally charged after a bad outing or a very good one, as rare as those have been. But he's been so terrible for so long, that I now question if he gives a crap. IDK how any human could care that they are performing so terribly without some sort of meltdown. Maybe he has off camera... IDK. But it just wreaks of him sucking and not a care in the world as long as he gets his paycheck. At least when Zambrano sucked, he showed that it bothered him...lol

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I have to be honest that I absolutely hate trying to analyze player's work ethic and level of caring based on the information available to us fans (body language, post game quotes, etc.). Inevitably whatever the player does is fine when he is playing well and is the cause of his issues when he is not.

  • In reply to Gunther Dabynsky:

    X2. If he did have a public meltdown people would be calling him a hothead that can't control his emotions.

  • In reply to Gunther Dabynsky:

    Good call, I think we should give all that the benefit of the doubt. I do credit him for being professional despite public humiliation. All that said it's time to talk exit strategy, for his benefit as well.

  • In reply to Gunther Dabynsky:

    I have to side with HD a bit on this one. He truly does look uninterested out there. IIRC he said the other day "There is nothing I can do about it" when asked about his reaction to the manager possibly benching him to allow younger (re: better) pitchers to start. What? Nothing he can do about the possibility of him being benched? He sounded like it wouldn't be a problem with him if it happened. That's how I read that line at least.

  • I have 54M reasons this guy has for not freaking out as He leaves Wrigley in his BMW . Good news for EJax neiebors his aim with eggs is worse than Beibers

  • To be accurate the title should read "A long, long, time ago and in a galaxy far, far away...."

  • In reply to benhyoung14:

    My titles are already SEO unfriendly enough as is...

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    Just read that the Cubs placed Edwin on the DL for a bruised ego.... I mean, right lat strain. Does it matter?

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    Someone posted a week or so ago that a Jackson DL stint was coming. Good call. I hate to dump too much on him personally because I think he wants to do well. I question why he was trotted out there every 5th day when he was performing so poorly and others either performed better or deserved their shot. Hopefully this lat strain takes 6 or 7 weeks to heal then requires a warmer climate next year.

  • In reply to Terry Huebner:

    Yeah, the Sahara desert.

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