The Yankees are like the killer in teenage slasher films. Every time you think they’re dead, they pop back up and continue slashing (or, this year anyway, hacking, but that’s another subject). The point: you cannot declare them dead until they are unequivocally and clinically dead. To do so is folly. They have annoyingly bounced back up way too many times for that.
So if you’re a member of the Detroit Tigers, you can’t feel at all comfortable saying or doing things which assume that the Yankees are dead. Or in the case of Quintin Berry, say things which assume that you won’t be back to Yankee Stadium for Games 6 or 7 in the ALCS. And he more or less did that in this quote to Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan last night about the lack of electricity in Yankee Stadium:
“This is a very easy place to play now,” Tigers outfielder Quintin Berry said. “Coming from Oakland, the fans there were so rowdy. It was easier to come here.”
We can debate how much crowd enthusiasm plays into the game on the field, and we can debate whether the ever-famous “bulletin board material” makes any difference when seasoned professionals are involved, but I just can’t imagine that I’d want anyone on my team saying stuff like that while the series was still going on.
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.
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.