Jackson hopes to rebound from rough season

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 16, 2014 at 11:47 am •  Published: February 16, 2014

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Edwin Jackson's first year with the Chicago Cubs was a dud.

Now, entering Season 2, the Cubs are hoping Jackson at least lives up to his career norms, if not completely up to every dollar of his four-year, $52 million contract.

The 30-year-old right-hander went 8-18 with a 4.98 ERA and led the majors in losses while carrying a modest load of 175 1-3 innings, clearly not what the Cubs had in mind when they signed him.

He arrived in Chicago with a 4.40 career ERA, and he was coming off a 10-win season with Washington in which he had a 4.03 ERA. The Cubs were hoping for something close to that if not what he did in 2009.

That year, he went 13-9 for the Detroit Tigers while putting up a 3.62 ERA over 214 innings, and he threw a no-hitter the following season for the Arizona Diamondbacks. That happened against Tampa Bay on June 25, 2010, the second no-hitter in club history along with Randy Johnson's perfect game in 2004.

With the Cubs, Jackson said the pressure of the big contract didn't get to him.

"It's just a crazy year," he said. "I don't think I was about to pull my hair out or stressing or pressing over games. It was just a crazy year where things didn't go the way I'd like. It just so happened to be the first year of a contract.

"I'm sure people expected more. But I expect more."

He doesn't blame the results on Wrigley Field.

"The park plays bigger than you expect more times than not," Jackson said.

"You can catch an unfortunate day when the wind is blowing out. But for the most part, it plays big."

His diagnosis?

"I think I just had an inconsistent delivery," he said.

Jackson is the epitome of the well-traveled athlete. For starters, he was born in Germany; his father served in the military.

Same goes for baseball. He debuted in 2003 with the Los Angeles Dodgers at age 19, and the Cubs are his eighth team.

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