Saturday’s long jog out of the A’s bullpen at Citizens Bank Park was difficult for Zach Jackson to complete without losing his composure. Not only did he take the mound for his debut in the Major League, but he did so in front of a tremendously boisterous crowd.
Jackson was met with a chorus of boos when he entered the game to open the bottom of the eighth inning of the A’s 4-2 loss to the Phillies. The majority of the 41,622 spectators in attendance booed Jackson as he entered the game.
Jackson’s nerves were evident from the beginning. He issued a walk to Rhys Hoskins on his debut in the major leagues, prompting a swift visit from A’s pitching coach Scott Emerson.
Using the pause to refocus, the right-handed pitcher quickly settled into a scoreless inning that kept the A’s in striking distance.
In the following at-bat, he induced a ground-ball double play from Jean Segura and completed the session with a swinging strikeout of Didi Gregorious on an outstanding outside-in pitch. According to Jackson, it registered as a slider on Statcast but was actually a curveball.
Kevin Jackson, who had traveled from Oklahoma with a small party to watch his son pitch, was the only person in the stadium who may have felt greater nervousness than Jackson.
Jackson’s mother, Gina, his sister, Chelsea, and his fiancé, Alex, were also in attendance.
Throughout the game, all four members of Jackson’s family were visible on the NBC Sports California broadcast, visibly tensing up with each pitch and erupting after the last strikeout.
The A’s retrieved both the strikeout pitch and Jackson’s first major league pitch to Hoskins. Jackson stated that the baseballs will be a gift to his father.
Who Are Zach Jackson Parents?
Kevin Jackson and Gina Jackson are Zach Jackson’s Parents.