According to Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com, the Cubs have signed utility man Brent Lillibridge and outfielder Darnell McDonald to minor league contracts. Both will get invites to major league spring training.
Lillibridge, 29, batted just .199/.250/.274 with three homers, 13 stolen bases and a .524 OPS in 209 plate appearances last season between the White Sox, Red Sox and Indians. However, he’s capable of playing everywhere and socked 13 homers as recently as 2011.
McDonald batted .214 (18-for-84) with two homers in 38 games with the Red Sox last season and went 0-for-4 in a brief stint with the Yankees. The 34-year-old owns a .778 OPS over 431 plate appearances against left-handed pitching in the majors and clearly still has a fan in Cubs president Theo Epstein.
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.