CHICAGO – Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson can’t catch a break.
Jackson finally was pitching like the guy the Cubs signed to a four-year, $52 million contract during the offseason that until Tuesday had been marred by outings that rarely lasted beyond the fifth inning. Sporting a 1-7 record and 6.11 ERA entering Tuesday’s matchup against the White Sox, Jackson retired the first six batters he faced by either strikeout or ground out.
Although Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie singled to open the third, Jackson answered with a strikeout of Tyler Greene. And then the skies opened. Heavy rain and a looming thunderstorm forced crew chief Tim Welke to call for the tarp as the Cubs led the Sox, 2-0. The game was postponed after a 1-hour, 17-minute rain delay. A makeup day and time still is to be determined.
“It’s just one of those things, times when you’re having one of the seasons I’m having, that’s the way it is,” Jackson said. “You feel good and something happens, and you feel bad and something happens.”
The torrential rain was an unfortunate disruption for Jackson. For the second straight start, Jackson’s day ended early because of rain. Most frustrating for Jackson – he was outpitching Sox starter Chris Sale for nearly three innings and put the Cubs in position to win. That hasn’t happened often in Jackson’s starts. The Cubs have won only two of 10 games when the 29-year-old right-hander is on the mound.
“I felt pretty good, pretty loose from the beginning,” Jackson said. “I felt I could come out and attack the strike zone hard and down.”
Cubs catcher Welington Castillo, who hit a two-run home run off Sale in the second inning to put the Cubs ahead, said Jackson looked sharp against the Sox. For the Sox, it was a missed opportunity to take advantage of a Sale start. Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said the Sox are considering having Sale pitch Saturday instead of starting on normal rest Sunday.
“It’s not like we gain anything by bringing him back [early] because he’ll have the same amount of starts prior to our next off day [June 13],” Cooper said.
Sale was glad he got back on the mound after missing his previous start because of mild tendonitis in his left posterior shoulder.
Although Sale wished he could have pitched longer, he approached the rain-shortened outing as an extended bullpen having thrown only 37 pitches.
“My arm felt strong, it felt good,” Sale said. “Those guys back there know what they’re doing. Just going through some different things and throwing and felt fine tonight.”
• Meghan Montemurro covers the White Sox and Cubs for Shaw Media. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Sox Insider and Inside the Cubs blogs at NWHerald.com and on Twitter @Sox_Insider and @InsideTheCubs.