I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have much knowledge of the sabermetric side of baseball. I’m pretty much a traditional win-and-losses type of guy, but I can appreciate the meaning of WHIP, too. Theo Epstein, on the other hand, is from the Bill James tradition of inventing new measures of statistical analysis. Things that I couldn’t understand if you explained them to me. But somehow, there had to be something in Edwin Jackson’s past to suggest he would perform well.
I went looking for anything I could find along these lines, and I reasoned his performance at Wrigley Field, against the Cubs, might be an indicator. Half of his starts would be at Wrigley, theoretically, so why not see how he’s pitched there before? And I didn’t like what I saw: a 1-2 record, 7.94 ERA and four home runs allowed in 17 innings of work. Yikes. But that was the old Edwin Jackson, and not the one that signed for the next four years, right?
Last night’s start against the lowly San Diego Padres was the third Jackson has made in a Cubs uniform at Wrigley Field, and — like the first two starts — the numbers weren’t good: 4.2 innings pitched, 11 hits allowed and eight runs, all of them earned. He also took the loss, and is now 0-4 in a Cubs uniform. It’s not the kind of start to the season that anyone wanted to see.
I can understand that he’s pressing, trying to prove that he deserves a four-year deal. But a home game against a Padres team that came in at 9-16 on the season was an opportunity to do exactly that, and it didn’t happen. I’m looking forward to writing a piece after a fine Edwin Jackson outing and a win. But a month into the season, that opportunity hasn’t come along yet. I hope it does, and soon.