Mike Stobe/Getty Images

CC Sabathia set to join 3,000 strikeout club

6 Comments

Yankees lefty CC Sabathia will start against the Angels tonight in Anaheim. He is sitting on 2,994 strikeouts for his career, six shy of joining the exclusive 3,000 strikeout club. He would be its 17th member. The other members are Nolan Ryan (5,714), Randy Johnson (4,875), Roger Clemens (4,672), Steve Carlton (4,136), Bert Blyleven (3,701), Tom Seaver (3,640), Don Sutton (3,574), Gaylord Perry (3,534), Walter Johnson (3,509), Greg Maddux (3,371), Phil Niekro (3,342), Fergie Jenkins (3,192), Pedro Martínez (3,154), Bob Gibson (3,117), Curt Schilling (3,116), and John Smoltz (3,084).

Six strikeouts is not guaranteed, as Sabathia fanned three in his first start of the season on April 13 against the White Sox and five in five innings last Friday against the Royals. Sabathia, in fact, last struck out six-plus in a game on August 29 last season against the White Sox — seven starts ago.

Despite the lack of strikeouts, Sabathia has yet to allow an earned run on the season. He’s allowed one unearned run on four hits and four walks over 10 innings of work. He had a late start to the season recovering from offseason knee and heart procedures.

Once Sabathia is in the 3,000 strikeout club, Justin Verlander appears to be next. Verlander has struck out 2,744 batters in his career, so he would likely get there next season.

The harrowing tale of the end of Bobby Jenks’ baseball career

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.