It kind of got lost in the shuffle amid Matt Kemp being placed on the disabled list, but the Dodgers have also put Juan Uribe on the shelf with the wrist injury that has plagued him for the past month.
Uribe was hitting just .250 with one homer and a .640 OPS in 25 games and has been a huge (and mostly predictable) flop since signing with the Dodgers last offseason for $21 million. Normally the Dodgers would be better off with Jerry Hairston Jr. taking over as their primary third baseman anyway, but he’s on the DL with a hamstring injury of his own.
That leaves veteran Adam Kennedy, Triple-A call-up Elian Herrera, and Justin Sellers to divvy up playing time at third base, with Kennedy drawing the first two post-Uribe starts despite being 36 years old and not cracking a .700 OPS since 2009.
Entering Thursday’s NLCS Game 5, Dodgers outfielder Enrique Hernandez had never hit a home run nor even driven in a run in the playoffs in his four-year career. He had homered twice in a regular season game just twice and his career-high for RBI in a game was four.
Hernandez hit three home runs and knocked in seven runs to help power the Dodgers past the Cubs 11-1 to win the National League pennant and punch their ticket to the World Series. His first homer was a solo homer to center field in the second inning off of starter Jose Quintana. He blasted a grand slam to right field off of Hector Rondon in the fourth, then tacked on a two-run blast in the ninth inning off of Mike Montgomery to make it 11-1.
Hernandez is the 10th player to hit three home runs in a postseason game. Jose Altuve, of course, did it two weeks ago in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Red Sox. Before Altuve, Pablo Sandoval (2012), Albert Pujols (2011), and Adrian Beltre (2011) were the last players to accomplish the feat. As Jayson Stark points out, Hernandez joins Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, Adam Kennedy, and Beltre as players to hit three homers in a series clincher.
Hernandez’s seven RBI set a new National League record for a postseason game. Only four other players — Troy O’Leary, John Valentin, Mo Vaughn, and Edgar Martinez — accomplished the feat.
No one has hit three home runs and knocked in seven-plus in a game… until Hernandez. He certainly picked a good time to break out.