Jackson exits start with right lat discomfort
Right-hander pitches into third inning, finishes year with 4.77 ERA
ST. LOUIS -- Starter Edwin Jackson began to feel some discomfort in his right side when he was warming up on Saturday and it never went away.
Jackson was pulled after throwing 65 pitches over 2 2/3 innings in the Cubs' 6-2 loss to the Cardinals because of mild right lat discomfort.
"I wasn't able to get extension like I wanted to on my pitches," Jackson said. "I don't think it's super serious."
Jackson was making his 31st and final start for the Cubs. He trailed, 2-0, going into the third after serving up a two-run homer to Matt Holliday, and with one out walked two batters. Yadier Molina drove both in with a double, and then scored one out later on Pete Kozma's double. Jackson intentionally walked Adron Chambers to face Adam Wainwright, who hit a RBI single.
Cubs athletic trainer PJ Mainville and manager Dale Sveum then went to the mound, and Jackson exited.
The right-hander took his Major League-leading and career-high 18th loss, and finishes the season with a 4.77 ERA.
"There were some good things in there, too," Sveum said of Jackson's season. "A lot of people want to throw one season away in their career. It's over, and it's just time to start from scratch in Spring Training."
Sveum, Hoyer to wrap year-ending meetings
ST. LOUIS -- Cubs manager Dale Sveum and general manager Jed Hoyer will finish up their season-ending meetings with each player on Sunday.
Sveum will meet with all of the players to evaluate the 2013 season and talk about expectations for next year.
• The Cubs have improved defensively, and one of the keys has been the defensive shifting. The infielders have accepted the manueverings.
"They buy into it," Sveum said. "You show them on paper, 'Hey, look at this spray chart, this is what's going to happen 90 percent of the time. You find out it works. The times you get beat by it are magnified."
The Pirates, Brewers and Cubs rank among the top five teams in baseball in terms of using defensive shifts.
• The Cardinals announced on Saturday that Jake Westbrook will start Sunday's series finale against the Cubs, who will counter with Jeff Samardzija. Sveum has told Samardzija, who has already reached 200 innings for the first time in his career, he will not be pushed to finish the game and may just go five innings.
• With Friday night's 7-0 loss, the Cubs dropped to 7-10 against the Cardinals. They will finish this season with double-digit losses against the Cardinals, Reds (5-14), Brewers (6-13), and Pirates (7-12), marking the first time they've done that against four teams in a single season since 2002.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.