The Red Sox will go with starter Clay Buchholz in Game 4 of the World Series, reports USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale on Twitter. Some were concerned that Buchholz, dealing with tightness in his right shoulder, would have to be skipped in the rotation, but that won’t be the case.
According to Brooks Baseball, Buchholz showed significantly diminished velocity on his fastball in his last start. Buchholz most recently pitched in the final game of the ALCS against the Tigers, going five innings and allowing two runs. In his prior two starts of the 2013 post-season, he allowed eight runs in 11.2 innings, including three home runs.
Buchholz dealt with bursitis in his right shoulder during the regular season, keeping him out for three months between June 9 and September 9. Before the injury, he was having a Cy Young caliber season, going on the disabled list with a 1.71 ERA in 12 starts.
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.