The Los Angeles Dodgers began their six-game homestand with a disappointing 4-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies. It snapped a three-game winning streak and prevented them from gaining ground on the San Francisco Giants in the National League West standings.
Relying on another bullpen game, the Dodgers recalled Andre Jackson and optioned Darien Núñez to Triple-A Oklahoma City ahead of the series opener. Jackson followed Brusdar Graterol as the bulk pitcher and turned in 4.2 innings of one-run ball.
Though he was saddled with a tough-luck loss, Jackson’s second career game was just as impressive as his first one. He tossed four scoreless frames against the Pittsburgh Pirates in his MLB debut on Aug. 8.
Jackson has primarily split the season between Double-A Tulsa and Oklahoma City, going a combined 5-2 with a 3.28 ERA and 81 strikeouts. He has taken a big leap this year despite not pitching in Minor League season last year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“It’s a lot of hard work. The offseason was super important,” Jackson began. “I talked to the right people about getting things going, and just keeping the same mentality. The ‘I belong here mentality.’
“Even when you’re in Double-A or Triple-A, you’ve got to believe you’re a big leaguer, so that way when you get here you’re able to have confidence and know you belong.”
With MLB teams adjusting back to a normal 162-game schedule this season, having an abundance of pitching depth was more important than ever before.
Several clubs, including the Dodgers, have used a record amount of pitchers this year, and Jackson benefitted from his inclusion on the 40-man roster.
“Being on the 40 definitely gave me a sense, but at the end of the day you’ve got to pitch,” Jackson answered when asked if he had an idea he would pitch in the big leagues this season.
“I didn’t think about it that way. I definitely had it in the back of my mind, but outing to outing I was trying to enjoy it because if you get caught up in playing GM or whatever, it never works out that way.”
Jackson may continue pitching bulk innings every fifth day
With the Dodgers still short on starting pitchers, Jackson may be asked to fill a bulk role every so often. “We’re going to talk about it,” manager Dave Roberts said of the possibility.
“Just kind of look at the schedule and see if it makes sense for him to make starts or pitch bulk innings. He’ll be ready when called upon. He’s doing exactly what we need from him.”
Jackson was optioned the day after Roberts’ comments.
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