Throughout baseball history, only two starting pitchers have tossed enough innings to qualify for the ERA title and finished a season with a strikeout-to-walk ratio in excess of 10: Bret Saberhagen in 1994 (11.00) and Cliff Lee in 2010 (10.28). With ten strikeouts and no walks in a complete game effort this evening against the Giants in the second half of a doubleheader, Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright pushed his K/BB to an even 14.00 (84/6) in 89 innings, which would easily set the Major League record if it holds — a huge if, of course.
Wainwright, who needed 106 pitches to get through nine innings in his league-leading third complete game, lowered his ERA to 2.33, helping the Cardinals sweep the doubleheader. The Cardinals have won nine of their last 11 games, improving their record to 37-18 as they remain atop the NL Central by two games over the Reds.
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.