Throughout the long storied history of the Chicago Cubs franchise, there have been many mistakes made in trades and in free agency. They made a mistake when they traded away Lou Brock. They made a mistake when they signed Kosuke Fukudome. They made a mistake when they extended Carlos Marmol to an ungodly amount of money, and yes they made a mistake when they traded Tyler Colvin for Ian Stewart; but the trade was not a mistake because Colvin is any good, the trade was a mistake because Stewart is a pudwack.
This afternoon, we will see what is starting to look like another mistake that has been made in free agency; today Edwin Jackson will take the mound and seek out redemption. The starter will be going against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals as he hopes to improve on his 0-5 record through his first seven games of the season.
There is not much to look at with Jackson this year that would give you much confidence that he will be able to rebound today and bring home a win, especially against the offense the Nationals are capable of trotting out onto the field. Even with out Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth they were still able to put up seven runs against the Cubs. Today, they get back Harper who missed last night’s game.
To say Jackson has struggled this year, is a massive understatement. He has yet to throw more than six innings, and that is usually do to his tendency to throw a ton of pitches. He has only thrown one quality start in seven tries, and only has been able to pitch two games which could be considered good at all. His first start of the season when he only gave up two runs, both earned, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The other one, was his lone quality start of the year against the Miami Marlins as he gave up three runs in six innings.
To his credit, he also only gave up one run in six innings against the Marlins, but there were also four unearned runs that crossed the plate as well under his watch. One earned run in six innings is a good stat, and a great sign, but five runs is not.
The problem is, the other four starts. He has given up at four earned runs in each of his other starts, again with six innings being the end of the road for him.
So far this season, the $52 Million contract is looking like a very bad signing. He is not even being the innings eater we thought we were getting when he came to Chicago. Nothing seems to be clicking right for him at all, and things only seem to be getting worse.
Fans are already starting to lose patience with him, and if he is unable to turn things around quickly, and starting today, he will be seen as a complete and utter failure, despite whatever else he does this year. He will join the like of Shawn Camp and Marmol as pitchers the fans expect the worst out of, no matter how long of a streak of great pitching they give you.
Who knows, maybe today is the day he turns things around. While Jackson has never been an ace quality pitcher, he has never been this bad. You would think, knowing his history that he is long over due for a rebound and a string of good starts. Fans of every other team he has ever pitched for say that he will make starts that make you want to scream and cuss, but then he will go out and twirl a gem. Unfortunately we are still waiting for those gems. Maybe that gem will come today.