Cody Bellinger was hyped, and his celebration with Kiki Hernandez was so ferocious that Bellinger’s shoulder popped out of its socket, he later confirmed to MLB Network. He had just hit a go-ahead home run in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, becoming the ninth player in Major League history to accomplish that feat in the seventh inning or later of a Game 7. Ever.
“So I had to come back into the training room,” Bellinger said. “They popped it back in, and I was ready to play some defense. It kind of hurt.”
The pain was only temporary for Bellinger, who joined Hernández in hitting one of the most dramatic home runs in the Dodgers’ storied history. In the sixth inning at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Hernández led off by crushing a pinch-hit game-tying homer off A.J. Minter. In the seventh, Bellinger added his go-ahead blast against Chris Martin, leading the Dodgers to a 4-3 win over the Braves and to their third trip to the World Series in the past four years.
The moment in question came in the seventh inning of Game 7 of the NLCS, with the Dodgers and Atlanta Braves tied 3-3. Bellinger hit a no-doubter home run, putting Los Angeles ahead for good in the 4-3 win.
Once Bellinger touched home, he officially became the second player in Dodgers history with a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning or later of a winner-take-all game, matching Rick Monday’s 1981 NLCS shot. Bellinger, who also hit a go-ahead homer in 2018 NLCS Game 7 against the Brewers, joined Boston’s David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia as one of three players with multiple career home runs in winner-take-all LCS games.
Bellinger’s shoulder felt sore but functional, and it should be fine for Game 1 on Tuesday. Bellinger, who has sustained multiple dislocations in big league games, certainly won’t sweat it. In 2018, he dislocated his shoulder on the field and popped it back in himself before play resumed.