CHICAGO — Hello, history. Enrique Hernandez joined an exclusive club with a three-homer game in the postseason, powering the Los Angeles Dodgers into the World Series in the process. Hernandez became just the 10th player to crack three home runs in a playoff game, the second to do it in 2017, joining Jose Altuve of the Astros who did in the American League Division Series.
In his first at-bat, in the second inning, Hernandez swung at the first pitch, a sinking 92-mph fastball from Jose Quintana, and launched it just over the netting in deep left-center for a solo home run and a 2-0 lead for the Dodgers. Yasiel Puig raised both arms in joy from the top step of the dugout and Hernandez pointed to his family in the stands as he crossed home plate.
In his second at-bat, in the third inning, he came up with the bases loaded against Hector Rondon and again swung at the first pitch, a slider on the outside corner of the plate that he lined to the opposite field just over the netting in right-center for a grand slam and 7-0 lead. Hernandez circled his right arm in triumph as he rounded first base, gave Puig maybe the hardest high-five in baseball history and then gave two-handed high-fives to Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger.
In the top of the ninth, his two-run home run to left-center off Mike Montgomery was the exclamation point on the 11-1 victory for the Dodgers as he finished 3-for-4 with seven RBIs.
The others with a three-homer game in the postseason: Altuve, Pablo Sandoval, Albert Pujols, Adrian Beltre, Adam Kennedy, George Brett, Reggie Jackson, Bob Robertson and Babe Ruth (who did it twice). Hernandez also tied a postseason record with seven RBIs, which is now the most ever for a National League player.
Hernandez hit 11 home runs in the regular season, serving as a utility guy — he started at seven different positions — and starter against left-handed pitching. Two of his home runs came against lefties, in Quintana and Montgomery, but he hit .159 with just one home run against righties,. Nonetheless, he was left in to face the right-handed Rondon with the bases loaded and one out, and came up with the biggest hit of his career.