The Edwin Jackson the Cubs hoped to get when they signed him to a four-year contract has appeared only briefly this season, during a stretch in late June through July when he won four of five decisions.
The Jackson who is facing the worst season of his career is the pitcher the team has seen more, losing again Tuesday 6-2 to the Miami Marlins in falling to 0-4 in his last six starts and 7-15 overall.
“It’s definitely been a disappointing season, but every lesson is a lesson learned,’’ he said. “You find ways to keep going. I have three more years here. A season like this makes you look forward to [bouncing back] the next three years.’’
Jackson lasted five innings in giving up three runs on seven hits, but he threw 104 pitches to keep him from a longer outing.
“He had one of his best sliders early, and then that got away from him,’’ manager Dale Sveum said. “There wasn’t a lot of fastball command in the [strike] zone.
“Unfortunately, we had only three hits after the first hit of the game.’’
The lack of offense didn’t help Jackson, with the Cubs only runs coming on Brian Bogusevic’s solo home run leading the fifth and a sacrifice fly by Anthony Rizzo with the bases loaded in the same inning.
“You can’t worry about [lack of] runs,” Jackson said. “You try to win every inning. The pitching and the defense has to be there.”
Jackson said lack of an effective fastball cost him.
“Throwing 40 percent sliders is entirely too much,” he said. “There’s nobody to blame but me. The slider is no good unless you have the fastball to go with it.”
The loss matched the most Jackson has had in a season, when he was 5-15 in 2007 with Tampa Bay.
“It’s just a matter of getting ahead early in counts, but unless you throw efficient strikes, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “I have to get back to attacking the strike zone.”
The Marlins had 12 hits off three of the six Cubs pitchers used in the game, with Blake Parker giving up three runs on four hits in the eighth.
The loss was the 19th for the Cubs in their last 24 home games, their overall record falling to 58-80.