After hitting two home runs in Wednesday’s 11-1 win, Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper wasn’t done terrorizing the Cubs. The Phillies entered the bottom of the ninth inning of Thursday night’s series finale trailing 5-1, but rallied for six runs to win 7-5. Four of those runs came on Harper’s walk-off grand slam, which was absolutely murdered.
Rowan Wick started the inning, but saw César Hernández reach on a fielding error and Scott Kingery reach on a single before allowing an RBI single to Brad Miller. Cubs manager Joe Maddon brought in Pedro Strop, but he couldn’t stop the bleeding as he allowed an RBI single to Roman Quinn, then hit Rhys Hoskins with a pitch to load the bases. Maddon came back out to bring in lefty Derek Holland to face Harper with one out and the bases loaded, the tying run standing on second base. Then this happened:
In the post-game interview with Gregg Murphy, Harper said, “That was sick. Wow. That was awesome.”
Harper finished 1-for-4. His batting line is up to .253/.374/.490 with 25 home runs, 87 RBI, and 72 runs scored in 532 plate appearances.
The Cardinals also lost on Thursday, so the Cubs remain tied atop the NL Central with them. The Brewers, who had the night off, are just one game out of first place. The Phillies, meanwhile, are a game out of the second NL Wild Card slot. The Braves lost to the Mets on Thursday, so the Phillies are eight games out of first place in the NL East.
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.