The field for next week’s Home Run Derby is officially in place.
MLB just announced that Josh Donaldson of the Athletics has been added to the American League squad. Meanwhile, Justin Morneau of the Rockies has been named as the final participant for the National League.
Toronto’s Jose Bautista is the captain for the American League and will also be joined by Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, and Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes. Morneau’s teammate, Troy Tulowitzki, is the captain for the National League and also has Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig, and Reds third baseman Todd Frazier on his side. Cespedes won the whole thing last year.
The 2014 Home Run Derby will take place next Monday night (8 p.m. ET) at Target Field, the site of this year’s All-Star Game. The hometown crowd will rooting for Dozier, but Morneau figures to get a lot of support in his return to Minnesota.
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.