Bryce Harper’s start to life as a Philadelphia Phillie has been far from smooth for much of the season, but he has had his moments. On Thursday night, he certainly had one of those as he led his team to a 7-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs at home. Chicago had jumped out to a commanding 5-0 lead thanks to strong hitting from Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber and seven innings of fantastic work on the mound from Yu Darvish. The starter went those seven innings while striking out ten and only allowing four hits in an almost flawless performance that saw him not walk a soul. In the eighth inning, the Phillies began their comeback, plating one run and having Rhys Hoskins thrown out at the plate for a second. But the ninth inning saw them knock in a couple of more runs to make it 5-3 before Harper strolled to the dish with the bases loaded. His grand slam ended the game, handing the Phillies a 7-5 win and leading him to call it of his ‘coolest moments’ ever. With the loss, the Cubs stayed locked into a tie with the Cardinals in the NL Central and are just a game above Milwaukee. The Phillies are still two and a half off of Washington for second in the NL East and eight behind the Braves. More crucially, though, is that the Phillies are only a game off the Cubs now in the Wild Card battle having taken the season series 5-2.
Things just keep going from bad to worse for DeMarcus Cousins. ‘Boogie’ sustained a bad injury a couple of years ago, and he never really fully recovered as a Golden State Warriors this past season. He signed with the Los Angeles Lakers hoping to join LeBron James and Anthony Davis to form one of the most feared front courts in the NBA. Only that is in danger now after his agent confirmed that he could miss the upcoming season after tearing his ACL. The injury has occurred in his left knee, making it the third extremely serious one to that leg. You have to think the previous injuries have placed strain on his knee, which has eventually buckled here. He had signed on a one-year deal for $3.5 million and the team were hoping he could take some of the load off Davis, seeing as how he has averaged over 20 points a game in his nine seasons. Unfortunately, it looks like he won’t get a chance to help the team very much this year and possibly beyond.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. didn’t exactly have the most vanilla career as a race car driver. He lost his dad on the track, he went up in smoke once, and he suffered many concussions over the course of his duties. Those were supposed to have ended when he retired, but he dodged yet another tragedy on Thursday when he, his wife, and his one-year old daughter survived after a fiery plane crash in Tennessee. Somehow, no serious injuries occurred and all five people on the plane, included the pilots, were a-OK. There have been way too many plane crashes to note in NASCAR history, so it’s good to finally hear some good news for a change. Junior, who is now a broadcast analyst for NBC Sports’ coverage of the series, will be taking the weekend off in Bristol.