Adrian Gonzalez stuck on seven
With the news, last night that Adrian Gonzalez will be shut down for the rest of the season after his back tightened the chances of him being on a postseason roster are just about nil.
Which is too bad in that Adrian Gonzalez has hit seven postseason home runs putting him in 2nd place behind the LAD leader Steve Garvey who had hit ten postseason home runs. One of the reasons the LAD did not stall in the NLCS during the reign of the longest playing infield in history was that the infield combined to hit over 20 postseason home runs.
Garvey, Lopes, Cey, Baker, Yeager, Smith combined for 36 home runs.
Below are the key NLCS/NLDS home runs by this group to get them to the World Series:
1974 NLCS – Ron Cey pops a home run leading the Dodgers to a 3 – 0 victory in game one. In game four after being shut out in game three, Steve Garvey hits two two-run home runs driving in Jimmy Wynn both times and cementing the Dodger victory as they crushed the Pirates in game 4 and headed for the 1974 World Series.
1977 NLCS – Ron Cey hits a dramatic game one grand slam against National League Cy Young Award winner Steve Carlton to tie the game at 5 – 5. But alas they did lose game one 7 – 5. Still hitting a grand slam in the postseason against the best pitcher in baseball at the time was something I only thought happened to the Dodgers. Dusty Baker hit his own grand slam in game two with the score tied giving the Dodgers a win in game two. Dusty Baker would be the difference maker in game four hitting a key two-run home run off of Steve Carlton as Tommy John made it hold up with a 4 – 1 victory, and another trip the World Series.
1978 NLCS – Game one, Steve Garvey hits two home runs again and is helped by Davey Lopes and Steve Yeager as the Dodgers hit four home runs to win game one. Davey Lopes hits his second home run of the NLCS in game two helping the Dodgers win game two. In game three Steve launches his 3rd home run of the NLCS, and this one came against Steve Carlton but it would not be enough as the Dodgers lost game three. Game four found the Dodgers down 2 – 1 when Ron Cey tied the score at 2 with a home run. In the 6th inning, Steve Garvey hit his fourth home run of the NLCS to put the Dodgers in front 3-2 as they eventually won 4 – 3 and again headed to the World Series.
1981 NLDS – Once again that guy Steve Garvey did his magic hitting a home run in game one against Nolan Ryan to tie the game at 1 – 1. The Dodgers would lose the game 3 – 1. The Dodgers would lose game two 1 – 0 and were one game from elimination without any victories. They would need to win three games in a row. Not to be deterred Steve Garvey hit another home run in game three, a two-run shot in the first inning to get the Dodgers started on 6 – 1 victory. Game four found Pedro Guerrero hitting his first postseason home run putting the Dodgers in front 1 – 0. The Dodgers would win a nail-biter 2 – 1 and tie up the series at two games apiece. They didn’t hit any home runs in the game but won the game 4 – 0 behind the key hitting of Steve Garvey and Rick Monday.
1981 NLCS – In game one with the Dodgers holding onto a 2 – 0 lead, Pedro Guerrero hit a two-run blast, which was followed by Mike Scioscia’s first career postseason home run giving the Dodgers a commanding 5 – 1 lead. It would not be the most important home run of Mike Scioscia’s career but it was a nice start. Pedro Guerrero was starting to show Dodger fans a taste of what was to come in the 1981 World Series and the rest of his Dodger career. Montreal was a great team in 1981 and they were not going to go down easy. They shut out the Dodgers in game two behind Ray Burris. Steve Rodgers would handle the Dodgers easily in game three winning 4 – 1. Once again the Dodgers were one game away from elimination, once again they would rally behind home runs and once again Steve Garvey would be the man. In game four with the score tied 1 – 1, Steve Garvey hit a two-run home run in the 8th inning to break open the game. Game five was all about Rick Monday who hit the most famous postseason home run in LAD history until Kirk Gibson showed up. But to get their Fernando gutted out eight innings of one-run ball giving Rick Monday his chance to hit his 9th inning tiebreaking home run. Fernando got two outs in the 9th, and Bob Welch got the final out.
And that was the home run, run of several of the greatest teams in LAD history. You can see why Steve Garvey may not have been HOF material but was something of a folk hero for the Dodger fans of that era. He didn’t shirk, he delivered.
This group of Dodgers who have won four straight division championships hit 25 home runs while never advancing beyond the NLCS. The most memorable being the Juan Uribe home run that put the Dodgers into the 2013 NLCS though it was Carl Crawford and his two solo home runs that put the Dodgers even in the position to win that game.
Other memorable postseason home runs from 2013 – 2016:
2014 NLDS – Game two Matt Kemp hit a tiebreaking home run in the bottom of the eighth inning giving the Dodgers a 3 – 2 victory. It would be the only victory in the 2014 NLDS.
2016 NLDS – Game one, Corey Seager hits a home run off of Max Scherzer to give the Dodgers a quick 1 – 0 lead. Justin Turner hits a two-run home run off of Scherzer giving the Dodgers a 3 – 0 lead as they eventually win 4 – 3.
2016 NLDS – Game five, with the Dodgers down 1 – 0 to Max Scherzer, Joc Pederson gets the Dodgers off the mat with a home run to tie the game. The Dodgers would eventually score four runs that inning and win the climactic game five for the right to lose to the Cubs in the 2016 NLCS.
2017 NLCS – Game Two, Adrian Gonzalez launches his 7th postseason home run as a Dodger to win the game 1 – 0 and tie the series at one apiece.
The current team that will enter the postseason without Adrian, has hit a total of ten postseason home runs lead by the key 2017 pinch hitter Andre Ethier with four.
It would behoove them to double that number by the time the NLCS ends. With Cody, Corey, Grandal, Turner, Puig, and Granderson, it could happen.
The list below is courtesy of Baseball Reference. I modified it to only show anyone with at least two Los Angeles Dodger postseason home runs.