The Tigers were shut out 1-0 by the Braves, which officially clinched the second Wild Card for the Blue Jays. The Jays also took care of their own business, defeating the Red Sox 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park. They will host the Orioles, who also clinched a Wild Card berth on Sunday afternoon. The two teams came into the day’s action tied at 88-73.
Devon Travis broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning with a solo home run off of David Price. Jays starter Aaron Sanchez was working on a no-hitter but it was broken up with two outs in the seventh inning when Hanley Ramirez hit a solo homer down the left field line. The Jays challenged the initial ruling, that the ball was fair, but it was upheld after replay review.
The Jays responded by rallying in the eighth inning against Red Sox reliever Brad Ziegler. Josh Donaldson led off with a single and Edwin Encarnacion walked. Jose Bautista grounded into a 5-3 double play, which appeared to be a rally-killer. But Russell Martin reached on an infield single, pushing Encarnacion to third base. Troy Tulowitzki came up and ripped a single to center field to bring in the go-ahead run.
Brett Cecil took over in the bottom of the eighth for Sanchez. Sanchez’s final line: seven innings, two hits, one run, two walks, six strikeouts on 97 pitches. Cecil yielded a single to pinch-hitter Chris Young, then struck out Andrew Benintendi. Joe Biagini came in and saw the Jays out of trouble, getting Dustin Pedroia to ground out and then striking out Brock Holt to end the eighth.
Roberto Osuna took over in the ninth inning. He got Mookie Betts to ground out and David Ortiz to ground out. After walking Ramirez and allowing a single to Xander Bogaerts, Osuna was able to get the final out of the game, a ground out to third base by Jackie Bradley, Jr.
Bobby Jenks was a key part of the 2005 world champion White Sox. By 2010, his effectiveness as a closer fell off and he signed with the Boston Red Sox for the 2011 season. He’d pitch in only 19 games that year, suffer a back injury and would never pitch again.
In the year or so after that, we heard that Jenks was arrested for driving under the influence. And then we heard that his back surgery was botched, and his baseball career was over. Then, after years of silence, we learned last spring that Jenks won $5.1 million in a medical malpractice suit against the doctor who performed his surgery.
We did not, however, know all the details until Bobby Jenks wrote about them at the Players’ Tribune this morning. This is must-click link stuff, folks.
Jenks talks about how a seemingly innocuous pitch to Jorge Posada in an early-season Red Sox-Yankees game in 2011 was the last pitch he’d ever throw. He talks about the presumably simple surgery that would supposedly get him back on the field. And then the scary complications in which he almost died due to leaking spinal fluid resulting from the botched surgery. Then, after using painkillers to deal with back pain, Jenks’ fell into drug addiction, all of which culminated in him finding himself half-naked and crazed in a car that didn’t belong to him with police and rescue workers surrounding him.
Jenks got clean but his wife left him. And then he mounted a multi-year lawsuit during which he learned that the reason his back surgery was screwed up was because the surgeon was performing two surgeries at one time, which is an apparently common practice called “concurrent surgery,” that sounds like it totally should NOT be a common practice.
Yet Jenks has survived. He’s been sober for over seven years and he seems to be in a good place. But boy did he have to go through something harrowing to get there. Definitely take the time to read it.