He dreamed of it as a kid, pursued it through high school and into college, then worked parts of five professional seasons to finally realize the moment.
On Saturday, Jake Jewell, 25, threw his first big-league pitch of his career. A day later, he admitted he wasn’t completely sure what type of pitch he threw.
“I’m pretty sure it was a two-seam fastball,” he said Sunday. “I just let it rip and was hoping it was a strike. I don’t even remember what I was thinking about, to be honest.”
An MLB debut can be so unforgettable that it’s difficult to recall what really happened.
Jewell’s first pitch to Dustin Fowler was, in fact, a two-seam fastball, one that missed the strike zone low.
Still, the ball was tossed aside and was waiting in Jewell’s locker afterward, along with the ball he used for his first strikeout, which ended his one scoreless inning against Oakland.
“It’s the most nervous I’ve been in my life,” Jewell said. “My first outing in big-league camp — I thought I was nervous then. But this was just another level.”
He retired three of the four Athletics he faced (Stephen Piscotty was hit by Jewell’s pitch with two outs).
Jewell, the fifth-round pick of the Angels in 2014, was forced to make his second appearance Sunday after the bullpen failed to hold a 5-3 ninth-inning lead.
He started the 11th and allowed a single to Jed Lowrie before walking Khris Davis. After retiring Matt Olson on a fly ball, Jewell was replaced by Eduardo Paredes.
When Paredes gave up Jonathan Lucroy’s game-winning single, Jewell had another career milestone: his first loss.
“This experience will be good for them,” veteran Blake Parker said of the younger relievers. “We have confidence in them. I know the Angels do, too. We need some guys to step up. I think we have the right guys for that.”
Kole Calhoun is close to rejoining the Angels. He had another hit Sunday during his rehabilitation assignment at triple-A Salt Lake. He is six for 19 with three extra-base hits for the Bees and could be activated as early as Monday.