Dodgers 1B/OF Cody Bellinger hit his career-high 40th homer of the season on Thursday afternoon against the Marlins, a three-run blast to right field in the seventh inning. The homer helped close the Dodgers’ deficit to 13-7.
Bellinger, 24, hit 39 in his Rookie of the Year Award-winning campaign in 2017. Along with the 40 dingers, Bellinger is batting .317/.415/.664 with 93 RBI, 96 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 504 plate appearances.
Bellinger is on pace for 53 home runs, which would be the most in a single season in Dodgers history. Shawn Green has the club record with 49 homers in 2001. Adrián Beltré is second with his 48 in 2004. Bellinger is only the fifth Dodger with a 40-homer season since the club moved to Los Angeles in 1958. Along with the aforementioned three, Gary Sheffield hit 43 in 2000 and Mike Piazza hit 40 in 1997.
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.