Jackson enjoying opportunity to face ex-mates

Jackson enjoying opportunity to face ex-mates

WASHINGTON -- Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson was in the visitor's locker room on Friday afternoon, reminiscing about his days with the Nationals.

In his only year in Washington, Jackson helped the Nationals win the National League East title, going 10-11 with a 4.03 ERA in 31 starts. But the Nationals decided not to re-sign him after the season. Instead, they signed right-hander Dan Haren to a one-year deal.

"I've been around the game. Nothing seems to surprise me anymore. You hope for the best and expect the worst," Jackson said. "You know me: I've always been a person that worried about what I can control. What I can't control, I really don't have time to worry about it."

Jackson is off to a slow start, going 0-5 with a 6.39 ERA for Chicago. But he feels he can turn things around.

"Mentally, physically, I'm ready to go. I've always continued to work hard, and [I'll] continue to grind out the season and finish up strong," Jackson said.

Jackson was able to catch up with a few of his ex-mates on the Nationals. He said they seem to be in good spirits. One person Jackson spoke to was right-hander Stephen Strasburg, whom he will face Saturday afternoon at Nationals Park.

"I get to face 98 [mph] tomorrow," Jackson said. "I talked to Stras' and told him I'll be ready to swing it. He would do the same. It will be a lot of fun. Them facing me and me facing them. Once the game starts, it will be no friends. They will be trying to get me, I'll try to get them. Until then, have some fun with it and get ready for tomorrow."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.