What the Pittsburgh Pirates lacked in defense — committing seven team errors for the first time since Sept. 16, 1985 — the Chicago Cubs made up for it in their stunning 12-2 win at PNC Park on Friday night.
That includes one of the most sensational — and downright scary — catches we've seen this season. It happened in the sixth inning with the Cubs already up 7-0. Andrew McCutchen attempted to pull Pittsburgh closer with a blast to left center field. However, Chicago's rookie center fielder Brett Jackson was able to run the ball down, and then secured it while taking a violent face-first crash into the partially padded, partially fenced outfield wall.
Take a look at the incredible catch-and-crash yourself:
Jackson would remain on the ground for several minutes afterward but was able to get to his feet and gingerly walk off under his own power. Thankfully, immediate concerns about a possible head or neck injury were quickly dismissed upon examination, but I was just as concerned he may have cracked a kneecap or a shin after that type of impact. Those injuries were also dismissed, with the official diagnosis coming in as a badly bruised right kneecap.
I'd say he got off pretty lucky this time around, but according to Jackson after the game, this type of scare absolutely will not change his game. In fact, coming down with the ball only reinforces why he's willing to make that type of effort, and why he won't hesitate to do it again.
"That's the type of player I am," Jackson said. "I've always been that way. I'll go through a wall for the team and that was a big moment for Travis (Wood) and for us. We'd lost six in a row, and seven runs didn't seem like it was enough at the time. I don't really have a second gear. I'm going to go for those balls. I'm sure people will tell me to take care of my body, but making that play was a little more important at the time."
I admire that attitude completely, but we should just make sure Jackson understands the wall at Wrigley Field only has ivy covering brick, and he may want to proceed with some degree of caution there. Aside from that, though, keep doing your thing Brett Jackson and enjoy all the free dinners from your pitchers as the great plays pile up.