Bryce Harper hits walk-off grand slam to complete sweep of Cubs

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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.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.