Throughout the highs and lows for the Oakland A’s, they have avoided one ignoble feat. They had never had a pitcher come into the game, face four batters, and walk each one. That is, until Zach Jackson made his appearance Tuesday night.
The A’s had received a strong start from Frankie Montas, although he remained in the game for one batter too many when Jackson came in. With a 2-1 deficit, he was entrusted to keep that lead to just a single run to give the lineup a chance to tie the game.
Zach Jackson has historic lapse of control
Instead, Jackson showed that No Control is more than just a Bad Religion album. He faced four batters and walked them all, throwing just seven strikes amongst his 23 pitches. Sam Moll did an impressive job to escape Jackson’s jam without any further damage when he was called upon after a run was forced home, but it was too late at that point.
Command issues are nothing new for Jackson. He had a 5.4 BB/9 rate in his five years in the minors, with his 4.2 BB/9 rate last season the best mark of his career. Those bouts of wildness are a part of the package.
Jackson does have the ability to miss plenty of bats. He posted an 11.1 K/9 rate in the minors and has struck out 29 batters in his 22 major league innings. However, he has also issued 17 walks, including his four walk performance last night.
This is just one game. Jackson will still get his chances in relatively high leverage roles due to his overall performance and ability to strike batters out. Situations such as what happened on Tuesday are just a part of the experience.
Zach Jackson made Oakland A’s history on Tuesday night. It just was not the type of history that he would have wanted to make.