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Sunday

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June 2013

42

COMMENTS

Game 55- Is Edwin Jackson Really Bad?

Written by , Posted in General

BOXSCORE / HIGHLIGHTS

Star of the Game –  Scott Hairston – .279 (WPA)


The Cubs got beat again today.  This time it wasn’t the bullpen who opened the flood gates.  It was the starting pitcher who let the game get away in the 6th.  Maybe, Dale Sveum should have brought on a reliever in the top of the 6th with 2 outs and the bases loaded, but with Hector Rondon being the guy you warmed up, is that really the best option you set yourself up with? Rondon doesn’t get enough pitching time to be put in a jam like that. If they would just let him loose and learn to pitch he would be a useful pitcher.  When looking at the way our bullpen already is choking on winable ballgames, what’s the worst that could happen?  Let’s talk about what got us there.

Edwin Jackson (1-7) continues to see his pitches deposited throughout whatever little hole on the diamond there may be. Watching him pitch,  you see a pitcher who looks to be missing spots, getting dominated, and not able to put men down in order.  If he qualified based on innings (which he doesn’t because of ran shortened games) he would have the WORST ERA among NL starting pitchers.  The worst.  Does that mean that he is really as bad as his record?  Could the advanced stats clue us in to something different?  Here’s the run down.

  • 8.83 K/9
  • 3.34 BB/9
  • .85 HR/9
  • .341 BABIP
  • 56.4% LOB
  • 6.11 ERA
  • 3.69 FIP, 3.67 xFIP

What do all the fancy stats tell you?  He is having a really really really bad series of events happening to him.   His strike out rate it currently the best of his career.  His walk rate is a touch higher than career average.  The thing that is killing him is BABIP and LOB%.  His current BABIP is extremely high and more than 30 points higher than his career .310 marks.  His LOB% is 15 points lower than his career average of 70%.  He is having more unlucky balls get down in gaps which is leading to more men scoring, leaving less on base.

Now, I don’t understand how ZIPS works too well but they have him projected to finish the season 7-8 with a 3.97 ERA.  I would say, that is what you expect out of Edwin Jackson.  Yet, they also only have him ticketed for 128 IP, that is not what you would expect.

I understand that often times there are pressures that come along with getting paid and getting that first big contract.  Jackson is definitely feeling the pressure and luck just doesn’t seem to be on his side.  I could tell you that he looks like he is throwing strikes and his strikeout rates say he is. He is hitting the zone and pounding it pretty hard as evident by the following heat maps.

Ejax vs LHP   Ejax vs RHP

Although the ERA is terrible, and we shouldn’t forget that it is leading to the “L” flag flying, Edwin Jackson is not really bad.  Unlucky? Yes!  The seeing eye test may make you think how can he dominate some innings and get smashed others.  That is just the way of unfortunate series of events.

Jackson will get better.  He has some things to work, namely that LOB%.  When the season is over he will be what we expect, an innings eating horse.  Not the lame donkey taking the mound every fifth day now.

  • Michael Jimenez

    Here’s the problem with arguing he’s been unlucky due to his high BABIP & LOB% – he hasn’t. He’s getting hit, and hit HARD. I’ve watched every start, and I have yet to come away from a game thinking… damn he actually pitched really well if that bloop single or that ball that should’ve been caught didn’t go that way, he would’ve had a nice outing…. What I did think after today’s outing, is how the f did he only give up 7 runs (4 earned) when he allowed 15 baserunners and only got 17 outs?

    His problem is his fastball velocity is down 2MPH from 2 years ago and his BB/9 is much higher than his “good” seasons in 2009 & 2011. Being around the plate is working against him because his 92MPH fastball isn’t fooling anyone.

    While his K/9 & HR/9 rates are up there as the best or near best of his career, I’d be more worried about those regressing given his drop in velocity and control as the season progresses.

    After today’s outing, he’s now giving up 1.68 baserunners per inning and very few of those have been luck based.

  • Michael Jimenez

    Here’s the problem with arguing he’s been unlucky due to his high BABIP & LOB% – he hasn’t. He’s getting hit, and hit HARD. I’ve watched every start, and I have yet to come away from a game thinking… damn he actually pitched really well if that bloop single or that ball that should’ve been caught didn’t go that way, he would’ve had a nice outing…. What I did think after today’s outing, is how the f did he only give up 7 runs (4 earned) when he allowed 15 baserunners and only got 17 outs?

    His problem is his fastball velocity is down 2MPH from 2 years ago and his BB/9 is much higher than his “good” seasons in 2009 & 2011. Being around the plate is working against him because his 92MPH fastball isn’t fooling anyone.

    While his K/9 & HR/9 rates are up there as the best or near best of his career, I’d be more worried about those regressing given his drop in velocity and control as the season progresses.

    After today’s outing, he’s now giving up 1.68 baserunners per inning and very few of those have been luck based.

  • SalukiCub

    The biggest problem with this Cubs team (in my opinion) is that there is no accountability for subpar play. In the last two games Marmol shouldn’t have left been in for as long as they’ve kept him in. After blowing the game wide open on Saturday night I thought he’d probably not see playing time today, but okay, he did. Then he walks the first batter.. no movement in the bullpen, walks the second batter.. and we all know how that inning went. Marmol should have been pulled at least after that first walk in today’s game with the next reliever already warming up incase of an implosion. (The beginning of the season was the same).

    Edwin Jackson continues to play terrible (even though I felt like that was a 5 out second inning, which must be really really tough) but he was bad later in the game too. Put Jackson in the bullpen and give Carlos Vill a couple starts. Why? To light the fire under Jackson’s butt, if he wants to be a Cubs starting pitcher, make him earn it.. regardless of the salary (can’t change that now).

    Starlin Castro (in my opinion) continues to play sloppy defense and look lazy at the plate. Give someone else a start at SS and see how he likes sitting on the bench. These players need to be motivated. DeJesus on the other hand should not miss another start unless he requests a day off or god forbid gets hurt.

    • Doc Raker

      Having competent players to replace some of these stiffs would be helpful. Castro could us a rest and some coaching but you don’t really know how much coaching he is getting, that all happens out of our sight.

  • SalukiCub

    The biggest problem with this Cubs team (in my opinion) is that there is no accountability for subpar play. In the last two games Marmol shouldn’t have left been in for as long as they’ve kept him in. After blowing the game wide open on Saturday night I thought he’d probably not see playing time today, but okay, he did. Then he walks the first batter.. no movement in the bullpen, walks the second batter.. and we all know how that inning went. Marmol should have been pulled at least after that first walk in today’s game with the next reliever already warming up incase of an implosion. (The beginning of the season was the same).

    Edwin Jackson continues to play terrible (even though I felt like that was a 5 out second inning, which must be really really tough) but he was bad later in the game too. Put Jackson in the bullpen and give Carlos Vill a couple starts. Why? To light the fire under Jackson’s butt, if he wants to be a Cubs starting pitcher, make him earn it.. regardless of the salary (can’t change that now).

    Starlin Castro (in my opinion) continues to play sloppy defense and look lazy at the plate. Give someone else a start at SS and see how he likes sitting on the bench. These players need to be motivated. DeJesus on the other hand should not miss another start unless he requests a day off or god forbid gets hurt.

    • Doc Raker

      Having competent players to replace some of these stiffs would be helpful. Castro could us a rest and some coaching but you don’t really know how much coaching he is getting, that all happens out of our sight.

  • Doug S.

    Edwin Jackson was painful to watch yesterday.
    That Sveum didn’t yank his ass earlier had me screaming…. in a silent sort of way.

    • Jedi

      And yet Doug, there are a host of others who will be ready to crucify Sveum for whoever he brings in when he removes a starter (look no further than Saturday’s game).

      He can only play the guys who show up on the roster.

      • Doug S.

        Yeah, tough job to make all fans happy. Just looked like Jackson had run out of gas when Dale visited the mound the first time. No gas = bad things.

      • Buddy

        Hopefully Dale (or any other manager) isn’t worrying about making the fans happy.

  • Doug S.

    Edwin Jackson was painful to watch yesterday.
    That Sveum didn’t yank his ass earlier had me screaming…. in a silent sort of way.

    • Jedi

      And yet Doug, there are a host of others who will be ready to crucify Sveum for whoever he brings in when he removes a starter (look no further than Saturday’s game).

      He can only play the guys who show up on the roster.

      • Doug S.

        Yeah, tough job to make all fans happy. Just looked like Jackson had run out of gas when Dale visited the mound the first time. No gas = bad things.

      • Buddy

        Hopefully Dale (or any other manager) isn’t worrying about making the fans happy.

  • You give a guy over 50 million dollars who has a career ERA of close to 4.50, tends to walk a lot of guys and over his career gives up more than 1 hit an inning and then wonder if he is any good? Homer Simpson says DUH!

    • BLPCB

      That’s what I said about the contract. 7 teams in 9 years, longest he spent with a team was 3 years, and the 4 years before this, he was with 5 different teams.

      • Nineteen through twenty one years ago he played on three separate little league teams. The longest he ever spent with a single tee ball team was two months. His high school team made no attempt to bring him back after his senior season.

      • BLPCB

        He was also a boss outfielder during his little league days.
        (Posting during my lunch break)

      • Bones

        Getting pounded like a boss now.

  • Tomas Checkosky

    You give a guy over 50 million dollars who has a career ERA of close to 4.50, tends to walk a lot of guys and over his career gives up more than 1 hit an inning and then wonder if he is any good? Homer Simpson says DUH!

    • AC0000000

      That’s what I said about the contract. 7 teams in 9 years, longest he spent with a team was 3 years, and the 4 years before this, he was with 5 different teams.

      • Nineteen through twenty one years ago he played on three separate little league teams. The longest he ever spent with a single tee ball team was two months. His high school team made no attempt to bring him back after his senior season.

      • AC0000000

        He was also a boss outfielder during his little league days.
        (Posting during my lunch break)

      • Bones

        Getting pounded like a boss now.

  • Seymour Butts

    Big picture here folks.
    We are looking for ways to make a competitive team out of what we have. You need to remember very few expected the team to be as good as it is. If the Cubs had a bullpen, they would be in contention. If you put your expectations back where they were 2 months ago, you will be very happy with this team. I am.

    • Jedi

      And let’s stop pretending like we’re the only MLB team to ever have a crappy bullpen. The outrage that follows every bad appearance by a reliever is hilarious…like someday Marmol is going to wake up and magically throw nothing but strikes…or do people not remember that when he was going good, Marmol didn’t throw strikes.

      • Eddie Von White

        If we stop pretending we’ll have to face reality.

      • Jedi

        Reality is that from Apr 8-May 30, Marmol had a 1.86 ERA in 19.1 IP in 20 appearances; but all anyone remembers is his first three games of the year and the two this weekend to start June.

        Reality is Marmol has been forced into action 4 of the last 5 days. Just how is that his fault?

      • Old Hoss Radbourne just rolled in his grave. Even at his current level of fitness, Hoss could throw on consecutive outings.

      • Oh, and tell your cartoonist that the spray paint can on MS Paint is the filet mignon of cartoon facial hair beard-makers.

      • Eddie Von White

        Reality is we’re following a team that has not won a World Series in 105 years. We can pretend if we want to.

      • Seymour Butts

        I’m ok with make believe.

    • sir arthur

      The Cubs wouldn’t be in contention with a bullpen and Jackson being 8-1 instead of 1-8! They play poor fundamental baseball, have poor discipline at the plate=low OBP, and simply don’t have the players that the Cards, Reds and Pirates do. Don’t know if Sveum & staff can lead the way although they’ve not had much to work with. Forehead-smacking time Sunday with Marmol starting the inning as per usual and NOBODY throwing in the pen and only down by 3 runs. 6th-8th innings, leadoff hitter swings and fouls off “Ball 4” in each inning. Nice to get a leadoff BB down by 3 runs – could unsettle the relief pitcher a bit. Little things like this win games and help develop a winning attitude, which this entire organization has lacked for a long time.

  • Seymour Butts

    Big picture here folks.
    We are looking for ways to make a competitive team out of what we have. You need to remember very few expected the team to be as good as it is. If the Cubs had a bullpen, they would be in contention. If you put your expectations back where they were 2 months ago, you will be very happy with this team. I am.

    • Jedi

      And let’s stop pretending like we’re the only MLB team to ever have a crappy bullpen. The outrage that follows every bad appearance by a reliever is hilarious…like someday Marmol is going to wake up and magically throw nothing but strikes…or do people not remember that when he was going good, Marmol didn’t throw strikes.

      • Eddie Von White

        If we stop pretending we’ll have to face reality.

      • Jedi

        Reality is that from Apr 8-May 30, Marmol had a 1.86 ERA in 19.1 IP in 20 appearances; but all anyone remembers is his first three games of the year and the two this weekend to start June.

        Reality is Marmol has been forced into action 4 of the last 5 days. Just how is that his fault?

      • Old Hoss Radbourne just rolled in his grave. Even at his current level of fitness, Hoss could throw on consecutive outings.

      • Oh, and tell your cartoonist that the spray paint can on MS Paint is the filet mignon of cartoon facial hair beard-makers.

      • Eddie Von White

        Reality is we’re following a team that has not won a World Series in 105 years. We can pretend if we want to.

      • Seymour Butts

        I’m ok with make believe.

    • sir arthur

      The Cubs wouldn’t be in contention with a bullpen and Jackson being 8-1 instead of 1-8! They play poor fundamental baseball, have poor discipline at the plate=low OBP, and simply don’t have the players that the Cards, Reds and Pirates do. Don’t know if Sveum & staff can lead the way although they’ve not had much to work with. Forehead-smacking time Sunday with Marmol starting the inning as per usual and NOBODY throwing in the pen and only down by 3 runs. 6th-8th innings, leadoff hitter swings and fouls off “Ball 4” in each inning. Nice to get a leadoff BB down by 3 runs – could unsettle the relief pitcher a bit. Little things like this win games and help develop a winning attitude, which this entire organization has lacked for a long time.