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Cubs’ Edwin Jackson set to face former mates in Washington

Chicago Cubs starter EdwJacksthrows against Cincinnati Reds during first inning baseball game Chicago Sunday May 5 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y.

Chicago Cubs starter Edwin Jackson throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, May 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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SATURDAY

CUBS at NATIONALS

The facts: 3:05 p.m., CSN, 720-AM.

The pitchers: Edwin Jackson (0-5, 6.39 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (1-4, 3.45).

WASHINGTON — Cubs pitcher Edwin Jackson spent one season with the Washington Nationals, but he spent a long time before the game Friday catching up with old teammates on the field during his first day back at Nationals Park.

“It’s good to be in my old stomping grounds,” Jackson told reporters the day before he opposes 24-year-old All-Star Stephen Strasburg.

A little more adrenaline than usual?

“No,” Jackson said with a smile. “Everybody was a Stephen Strasburg coming up at some point. … That’s a joke.

“It doesn’t really matter who’s pitching. If it was Gio [Gonzalez], there’d probably be a little more trash talking. … I told [Strasburg] I’ll be ready for that 98 [mph].

“It’ll be fun.”

If it’s still fun at the end of the game, it’ll be a season first for Jackson, the $52 million free agent still looking for his first win as a Cub after seven mostly rough starts. He’s 0-6 with a 6.39 ERA.

“It’s been kind of a slow start. Not exactly how I had it envisioned,” said Jackson, who has said repeatedly he doesn’t believe he’s pressing to perform under the first multiyear contract of his career. “But it’s a long season, and I feel good. And I’ve always continued to work hard.”

Jackson, 29, went 10-11 with a 4.03 ERA for the Nationals last year.



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