It was a stunning display for a player with 28 career homers who remains concerned about his native Puerto Rico, which is recovering from a devastating hurricane.
This was the 11th time a player hit three home runs in a postseason game. Listen to the interview below.
"It was awesome to do this, but we're not going to sit down and say, "Ah, we got to the World Series.' That's not our goal". The 26-year-old Hernandez connected on the first two pitches he saw, belting a solo drive in the second for his first career playoff homer and then a grand slam in the third against Hector Rondon.
So when The Post asked him what would it mean to play the Yankees in the World Series, Guber smiled and answered this way, a Hollywood way: "What would it mean to beat the Yankees!"
"First of all great job", Kiké said. We've got our No. 1 pitcher going [Thursday], and we've got two of the guys at the back end rested.
Of course, the Dodgers would've preferred to complete the sweep Wednesday and not let hope linger at Wrigley Field. Some critics scoffed as Kershaw brought a 5-7 postseason career record with a 4.57 ERA into Thursday's matchup. Guber, who is co-executive chairman of the Warriors, knows what it takes to win a championship. "So, I'm definitely not taking this one for granted". But their confidence in Kershaw to close out the series Thursday night is unwavering.
"He's done everything he can individually on the baseball field", Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
"There was so much going on in my mind, " said Hernandez, his eyes reddened, "but the No. 1 thing for me was wanting the game to get over so I could give my dad a big ol' hug".
Hernandez and the Dodgers were not done hitting. Each of their eight runs in the NLCS came via the long ball, and they batted just.156 for the series with 53 strikeouts. Back-to-back singles from Cody Bellinger and Yasiel Puig would load the bases and force Joe Maddon to pull the Cubs starter, Jose Quintana, out of the game. This is about the only thing they have going for them now. "They pitched great and the bullpen was lights out".
The Dodgers have had a heavy presence in October in recent years due to their regular season success, but have stalled out in October, earning a total of eleven postseason appearances since '88, including nine NL West Division crowns (1995, 2004, 2008-2009, 2013-2017), with two Wild Card berths (1996, 2006) to go along with it. Kershaw was still tossing a no-hitter through 4 1/3 innings, until he served up Kris Bryant's first (and only) home run of the postseason.
Taylor's versatility helped Los Angeles cover for the loss of All-Star shortstop Corey Seager, who missed the series with a back injury, but is expected to return in the next round.
Certainly, it's the series that Major League Baseball and the TV networks covet, with the Yankees and Dodgers meeting three times in a five-year span from 1977 to 1981, but pardon Hernandez if he'd prefer to instead play the Houston Astros.
"I couldn't be happier to be a part of this and be with these guys", Taylor said. "I think maybe previous year with the usage I maybe felt a little bit towards the end, I felt a little bit - exhausted is not the right word, but maybe just a little bit taxed, maybe".