Edwin Jackson had by far his best start of the year on Thursday night at Wrigley Field. Jackson has had his struggles this season, but has had a slight turnaround over the course of the last month. Jackson helped the Cubs win the game 3-0 and also recorded his sixth win of the year.
Jackson went seven strong innings in which he gave up no runs and four hits. Blake Parker, James Russell, and Pedro Strop all recorded an out in the eighth inning to provide a bridge to get to Kevin Gregg in the ninth. Gregg shut the door on the visiting Cards by recording his 16th save of the year, but of course he had to make it interesting before he got the job done as the tying run did come to the plate in the ninth.
Anthony Rizzo was huge, he drove in all three Cub runs on the night. The action started early when Rizzo doubled to drive in Starlin Castro, who had three hits for the Cubs, in the bottom of the first inning. Then in the third Rizzo singled to left to score Luis Valbuena and Castro. That was all the Cubs got and that was all they needed to back up Jackson.
The Cardinals couldn’t have come out more flat even if they tried. The Cardinal offense gave starter Jake Westbrook absolutely nothing to work with in terms of run support. The Cards managed just the four hits during the game, Allen Craig had two of the four.
Westbrook really didn’t have a bad start at all, he went seven innings, gave up seven hits, and three earned runs, which earns him a quality start, but this was just the case of Jackson being better on this given night, which you definitely don’t hear too often.
The Cardinals had a little trouble during and after the game. Left fielder Matt Holliday left the game in the fourth inning with tightness in his right hamstring. Then, something I have never seen before happened, Cardinal manager Mike Matheny was tossed after, that’s right, after the game for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Dan Bellino.
These two teams will be back in action tomorrow afternoon at Wrigley Field. The start time is scheduled for 3:05 PM CT. The probable starters are, Joe Kelly (0-3) for the Cardinals, and Carlos Villanueva (2-4) for the Cubs.
Topics: Allen Craig, Anthony Rizzo, Blake Parker, Carlos Villanueva, Chicago Cubs, Edwin Jackson, Jake Westbrook, James Russell, Joe Kelly, Kevin Gregg, Luis Valbuena, Matt Holliday, Mike Matheny, Pedro Strop, St. Louis Cardinals, Starlin Castro