HR a plus, but Cubs' Jackson still learning

CHICAGO – Promising youngsters can be exciting or they can make you pull your hair out. And sometimes they can do both all at once.

Brett Jackson had that kind of day in the Cubs' 4-3 defeat to the Colorado Rockies on Saturday.

The rewards came early. There was his double in the second inning to show that his game-tying home run from Friday was still providing a lift. Then there was his two-run home run into the basket in the fourth inning.

“I think I hit that homer 367 feet and the wall is 368 but I will certainly take it,” Jackson said.

He hasn’t always been catching breaks. Jackson’s numbers tell the tale of a youngster struggling to find his way in the major leagues, but he is getting on track. He has 31 strikeouts in 61 at-bats, but at least now he’s also showing why he is such a prized prospect.

Ultimately, though, his youth showed in the seventh inning. With two outs, Jackson (on second base) and Joe Mather (on first) tried a double steal that was not called from the bench. Mather was thrown out.

Not only was the tying run not in scoring position any longer but the Rockies were out of the inning with their one-run lead intact. Both players missed orders to stay put.

“When a coach tells you not to go anywhere and you do … it was missed,” manager Dale Sveum said. “Both of them.”

Jackson hasn’t been the only Cubs youngster to struggle since the team has progressed to an inexperienced lineup.

“This is what we talk about, about slowing the game down,” Sveum said. “We have the matchup we want (at the plate) with (Josh) Vitters up there against a left-handed pitcher. You don’t need to be going anywhere. We had a great matchup right there.”

Presumably because he shaves his head and doesn’t have any hair to pull out, Sveum was asked if decisions like that make him bang his head against a wall.

“I might have hit too hard and I wouldn’t make it the rest of the game on that one,” he said.