Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 8:31 a.m.
Edwin Jackson: His first loss since no-hitting the Tigers.
All good things must come up to an end, including the Arizona Diamondbacks' dominance over the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field. With their 8-3 loss Wednesday night, the D-Backs lost their first home series to the Cubs since 2003 and were swept at home by the Cubs for the first time in 16 all-time series.
D-Back starting pitcher Edwin Jackson lost his first game since no-hitting the Detroit Tigers almost two weeks ago, giving up five runs on six hits and four walks. He now stands at 6-7 with a 4.92 earned-run average and has been a picture of inconsistency for the underperforming Diamondbacks all season long.
The D-Backs managed to keep themselves in the game, trailing the Cubs 5-3 heading into the ninth inning, but it was the D-Backs' own worst enemy, Chad Qualls, who let the Cubs blow the game open in the ninth. The former closer, who lost his job to Aaron Heilman (who himself has since lost the closer's job), served up a three runs on three hits, including a homer to Aramis Ramirez, to seal the loss.
Meanwhile, the D-Backs offense continues to swing and miss at pitched balls at a historic rate. The D-Backs struck out 10 times, including six against Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster, to raise their season total to 793, far and away the worst total in the majors.
The loss was the fifth straight under new manager Kirk Gibson and the team's 53rd on the season. The last-place Diamondbacks, at 32-53, now have the third-worst record in the majors, better than only the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The D-Backs will make one last stab at respectability as they open their final series before the All-Star break begins Monday. Today, they will begin a four-game set with the Florida Marlins, still barely alive in the National League East race. On the plus side, the D-Backs will not have to face Josh Johnson, the NL's hottest pitcher. Tonight's match-up will feature the Marlins' Anibal Sanchez (7-5, 3.35 ERA) against Rodrigo Lopez (4-7, 4.43).
First pitch: 6:40 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620 AM. More info: www.dbacks.com