Jackson again comes up short of a win

CHICAGO -- Edwin Jackson was the Chicago Cubs' top offseason free-agent signing last winter and, although it is early in the 2013 season, to this point the four-year $52 million commitment doesn’t appear to be a good value.

After Sunday’s 7-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, Jackson is 0-5 with a 6.39 ERA. Some of the fault for the pitcher’s poor start can be deflected toward a sputtering offense, a spotty defense and an inconsistent bullpen.

“He was OK today,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “We just had a hard time with the bullpen holding it down. Their bullpen gave up one, ours gave up three to kind of change the game around.”

After missing out on free agent pitcher Anibal Sanchez (with a five-year $75 million offer) the Cubs turned their attention to Jackson, who was one of the few remaining rotation veterans left on the market. The thought process was that if they could add a decent starter who could deliver 200 innings the young pitchers and the bullpen would be greatly enhanced. The Cubs had to up the ante when Jackson found two other clubs who were willing to go three years on a deal.

To this point Jackson has averaged just 5.1 innings per outing. That is far below everyone’s expectations.

“I feel I have been getting beat by the big inning,” Jackson said after the game. “I just have to go out and execute pitches and make pitches when I have a chance to.”

Jackson has not pitched well at the Friendly Confines, going 1-5 with an 8.53 ERA in seven career starts.