Lance Berkman is working his way back from a hip injury, but the Rangers designated hitter still has no timetable for beginning a minor-league rehab assignment a month after being placed on the disabled list.
Berkman told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram that he’s currently running at around 50 percent effectiveness, adding: “Not being 100 percent ready to go on a rehab assignment is not what I’d hoped, but it’s not entirely unexpected.”
Berkman didn’t show much power before the DL stint, but did get on base at a solid .355 clip with tons of walks and the Rangers could certainly use another potential impact bat in the lineup following the suspension of Nelson Cruz. In the meantime the Rangers have used five different designated hitters in the past five games.
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.