Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon not only blew his first save in 18 tries this season, he then had to write a $5,000 check to Jim Thome.
Thome hit a pinch-hit home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning, helping the Phillies grab a 7-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
While Jim Thome was standing in the on-deck circle Papelbon reminded him of his $5,000 offer he previously made if he hit a home run. Thome hit the home run off Jake McGee (2-2), adding home run 609 to his career totals, good enough to tie Sammy Sosa at seventh place on the all time MLB career list. Following the victory Papelbon said he sat down and wrote a $5,000 check to Thome in the teams clubhouse. Thome in the meantime says he never received a check from the pitcher.
According to Papelbon the promise of cash started when “I came in the clubhouse, and I said ‘Whoever walks this guy off, I’ll give ’em five grand.’ I didn’t think Jim would do it right off the bat. … I just wrote him a check for $5,000.”
Following the game Jonathan Papelbon said of the home run:
“That was a huge pickup by Jim Thome. I couldn’t be happier for anybody in the clubhouse.”
Papelbon who is 2-2 on the season allowed his first earned runs in a save situation. After walking Jose Lobaton it was Jeff Keppinger who extended the game with an RBI single.
In summing up his performance Papelbon simply stated:
“I’ve got to do a better job.”