Edwin Jackson eager for start against his old team
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com May 9, 2013 11:00PM
Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson signals to the infield during the Reds three-run foutth inning. The Chicago Cubs fell 7-4 to the Cincinnati Reds Sunday May 5, 2013 at Wrigley Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: June 11, 2013 6:47AM
When the Cubs and Washington Nationals emptied the benches for a 70-man shoving match in the finale of their four-game series last September in Washington, Edwin Jackson was one of the more animated Nationals on the field, yelling, reaching, gesturing and being held back by coaches and teammates.
Since his first day in a Cubs uniform this spring, Jackson has claimed amnesia surrounding the events of that night.
“I really don’t even remember,” he said.
Maybe his return for the first time as a Cub can jog some memories — if not of the fire and intensity of that night, then maybe just the success he enjoyed in those familiar surroundings last year.
Jackson (0-5, 6.39 ERA) makes his eighth start as a Cub on Saturday against Stephen Strasburg in search of not only his first win as a Cub but just a second quality start, and maybe a game where he finally eliminates that one big inning.
Nationals Park might be the place to do it. He went 6-6 with a 3.35 ERA there last season (4-5, 4.78 everywhere else). And his old team might be the team to do it against: The Nationals rank near the bottom of the league in most offensive categories.
The promise of familiarity?
“I’ve played for eight different teams,” said Jackson, who’s in the first year of a four-year, $52 million deal. “At this point, you look at everybody the same, whether it’s an old team or a new team, and just try to go out and dominate.”
Exiled third baseman Ian Stewart — who cleared waivers and was outrighted off the 40-man roster Wednesday — was out of the Class AAA Iowa starting lineup for the sixth straight game Thursday. But he came off the bench to pinch-hit in the ninth and flied out, making him 4-for-45 since his minor-league rehab assignment-turned-option at Iowa.
The Cubs have buried him on the minor-league bench. And after failing to get another team to claim him on waivers, they appear to be trying to trade him for whatever savings they can get off his $2 million salary.