Edwin Jackson, who was the Cubs big offseason signing has struggled mightily in his first two months on the North Side. Entering Sunday’s game, Jackson’s earned run average was the worst all starters who qualified. But Sunday was a complete different story for Edwin.
Trying to avoid being swept against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Jackson was the best he has been all season. Despite the early struggles by the offense, Edwin kept the Cubs in the game by shutting down the Pirates hitters. It was certainly Jackson’s best start of the season as he want seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits, while striking out eight.
Int he first two games of the series, the Cubs bats really struggled to produce any runs as they were shut out on Friday and didn’t score until the ninth inning on Saturday. It appeared Sunday would be the same story as the Cubs were kept hitless for almost six innings. Jeff Locke was on early for the Pirates but lost his command as the game progressed and walked seven Cubs hitters.
While Jackson continued to deal, the Cubs offense finally had a break through in the six and seventh inning. Scott Hairston hit a sac fly in the six to tie the game and then Cody Ransom hit a huge three-run homer in the seventh to give the Cubs their first lead of the series.
From there, the Cubs bullpen pitched an almost ideal eighth and ninth. Carlos Marmol pitched a one-two-three eighth while only throwing two balls. Kevin Gregg came on for the save in the ninth and shut down the Pirates for his seventh save of the season.
A good win for the Cubs to avoid the sweep against a divisional opponent. The Cubs now welcome the Reds to Wrigley Field for a four game series. If the Cubs want to get their season back on track, three win versus the Reds is a must.