SAN DIEGO — Edwin Jackson has pitched for eight different teams, each one hoping he’d be able to put it all together.
Just when it looked like Jackson had turned a corner and might live up to his big contract, he buried the Cubs in an 11-1 loss to the San Diego Padres on Friday night at Petco Park.
“I didn’t really give myself a chance out of the gate,” Jackson said. “There’s no excuses. Flat out, just a terrible job of making adjustments.”
In an ideal pitching environment, against a weak lineup that had five guys hitting .204 or lower — plus pitcher Tim Stauffer — Jackson lasted four innings and gave up eight runs. His ERA rose from 3.98 to 4.94, or roughly what it was when he led the majors with 18 losses last season.
The Padres had shown interest before Jackson signed a four-year, $52 million deal with the Cubs, the biggest splash the Theo Epstein administration has made so far in free agency.
There’s still the mid-90s velocity, a durable body and a reputation as a good clubhouse guy. Jackson had looked sharp in his last six starts (3-2, 3.03 ERA), though even with a good run of pitching the Cubs are still a 17-29 team.
“No one would have expected that,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “We’re just going to chalk it up as one of those days, quite frankly, and we got to get ready for tomorrow.”
The Padres (22-27) opened with three consecutive hits off Jackson. Yonder Alonso — who began the day hitting .190 — crushed a 92 mph fastball 411 feet over the right-center field fence for a two-run homer that made it 4-0 in the first inning.
Jackson entered the game with a 5.93 ERA in 10 career games against the Padres, and by the second inning the Cubs were in a seven-run hole.
“I don’t really know numbers,” Jackson said. “I don’t really know what I’ve done or what I haven’t done in the past. All I do know is when you don’t execute pitches, it really doesn’t matter what team it is — they can hit the ball hard.
“When you let the game spiral out of control, those are the results you get.”