There as some losses that Chicago Cubs fans will just have to live with, and last night was one of those games. Edwin Jackson did a good job pitching for the Cubs yesterday, but Wandy Rodriguez just did a better job for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Jackson’s debut was not without issues, but overall I would call it a successful outing. The main concern for Cubs fans was his lack of control with the fastball. Jackson did a good job locating his off-speed pitches, but his fastball would miss by two to three feet at times. I hope that this lack of control was due to the cold, damp weather conditions. If he were having issues with his grip, it would explain the fastballs that went wide.
The Cubs issue last night was their lack of hitting with runners in scoring position. The team loaded the bases in the seventh inning, but were unable to push any runs across; Brent Lillibridge, their best shot at scoring the key runs, even hit a monster shot that curved left of the foul pole.
Had the ball been five feet to the right, the Cubs would have won the game 4-3. He eventually struck out looking on a ball that looked to be a little high, but was too close to take. The Cubs put themselves in a situation to win the game — they just weren’t able to capitalize on the opportunity.
The team will have many close games that end in losses over the course of this season. If the starting pitcher can go deep in the game and give the team a quality start, the offense should be able to give the Cubs a chance to win on a daily basis. Cubs fans need to be content with acceptable losses, because the team hopefully will turn many of those winning opportunities into W’s.
By Reid Lester