The Cubs will continue their hunt for the worst record in baseball tonight as starter Matt Garza faces off against newly-acquired starting pitcher Edwin Jackson. The Cubs, now twenty-one games under .500, don’t match up well against this strong St. Louis team.
Matt Garza has had an outstanding season thus far, as he has accumulated 3.0 wins above replacement already this season, although his record stands at only four wins to seven losses. Garza has left the game six times with a lead, yet not ending up with a win. Across the board, Garza is having a career season for the Cubs, however he has a measly record to show for it.
Opposing starting pitcher Edwin Jackson was traded by the Blue Jays to the Cardinals Wednesday, in exchange for center fielder Colby Rasmus. The Cards have a suitable replacement in Jon Jay, who is a more than capable player. Jackson is a rarity, being only a two-pitch starting pitcher, however his slider and fastball are such great pitches, he can get away with being two-dimensional.
Jackson’s slider is arguably his best pitch, and it’s a pitch the Cubs have hit poorly–as in second-worst in the league. Jackson eats up right-handers, and it is no secret where he’s throwing it:
Jackson vs. Right-Handed Batters (from a catcher’s perspective)
Also, Jackson holds his own against lefties without throwing a decent change-up. Thus far in the season, he’s thrown his slider an astounding 58% against righties, and has become more balanced against lefties.
If the Cubs win, it will most likely be Carlos Pena’s doing. Oh, and cover your eyes when Alfonso Soriano comes up to the plate (4 K’s in 12 AB’s against Jackson); we all know how he fares against the slider…