With runners at second and third and one out, Giants outfielder Jeff Francoeur looped a soft base hit to right. Jackson paused for a moment rather than racing to back up home plate.
"He was frustrated the ball fell in and obviously, he kind of lost concentration right there," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
Nevertheless, the ball bounded right back to the late-arriving Jackson, and he quickly threw to home. Brandon Belt of the Giants was then hung up between third and home and was eventually tagged out, which proved to be critical. The Cubs later rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth inning to win it.
Jackson got lucky on that play, but he also had another reason for why he didn't immediately back up home. He had to find his way around portly Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who was barreling down the line from third. Jackson simply didn't want to get run over by the significantly larger Sandoval.
"He is a big man," Jackson said.
Self-preservation comes first; backing up home plate is clearly second.
And on this night, it worked out for Jackson and the Cubs just fine.