On his return to U.S. Cellular Field, well-traveled Cubs starter Edwin Jackson was asked when he was last booed facing a former team on the road. "I don't remember, honestly," he replied. "When you go out there, you hear stuff, but my short-term memory, I really don't remember. I've been on so many teams, nothing sticks out. And if they do boo, they boo. If a boo changes your game, you probably don't need to be on the field anyway." Jackson didn't pitch long enough in his tenure with the White Sox to merit boos when he took the mound Tuesday night in the second game of the four-game City Series. And he didn't pitch long before the rain started to fall in the bottom of the third inning, eventually wiping out the game. Last week he threw three innings in Pittsburgh before exiting after a one-hour, 47-minute delay. "Sometimes when you're having a season like I'm having, that's how it is," Jackson said. After Jackson lost that rain-delayed game against the Pirates, manager Dale Sveum said he wanted to see Jackson pitch with more "conviction" at the start of games, throwing at full velocity instead of "gradually" getting into the flow. Jackson entered Tuesday's game with a 1-7 record and 6.11 ERA, failing to live up to the $52 million contract he signed over the winter. Had he spoken to Sveum about the perceived lack of conviction? "I have talked to him," Jackson said. "If he wants everybody to know what we talked about, I'm sure when you go ask him, he'll go put it out there in the paper." Sveum said Jackson came out with conviction Tuesday, even if he faced only eight batters. "That's kind of the guy we want to go out there all the time," Sveum said. "With 86-87 mph sliders and velocity from the get-go and see what happens from there." The Cubs believe Jackson will rebound from his poor start, but he has lasted six or more innings in only four of his first 10 starts and has yet to make it past the seventh. "Obviously he had a real bad outing a couple (outings) ago, but it's just letting the game get away, whatever part it is," Sveum said before Tuesday's game. "Last time in Pittsburgh, it was early. The other times it was one inning — usually fourth or fifth inning. "We've got to get a grasp on the game and control the innings. When innings are starting to get out of hand, you've got to control those innings."
Cubs' Jackson stays even-keeled despite ragged start
Chicago Tribune | May 29