With Justin Turner no longer available this postseason due to a Grade 2 left hamstring strain, Chris Taylor was moved into a starting role at third base and responded with a historic night in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.
Taylor hit three home runs and finished with six RBI as the Los Angeles Dodgers routed the Atlanta Braves to win a seventh consecutive elimination game.
Taylor’s first homer — a two-run shot — gave L.A. a 3-2 lead in the second inning. He added an RBI single in the third, two-run blast in the fifth and solo home run in the seventh. It culminated with Taylor receiving his first career curtain call.
“I think any time you do something cool, when you do it in Dodger Stadium, it makes it that much sweeter,” Taylor said. “I think this is a special place and these fans are awesome. For it to happen for the first time on this stage in front of these, this crowd, it was a special moment.
“It’s really special and it’s a dream come true to play here.”
Taylor became the first Dodgers player with three home runs in a postseason game since Kiké Hernandez in Game 5 of the 2017 NLCS. Among other feats, Taylor additionally is the first player in MLB history with a three-homer performance in an elimination game.
“It’s definitely surreal feeling for me. I never thought I was going to hit three homers in a game, let alone a postseason game,” he said. “It just still hasn’t really sunk in.”
AJ Pollock did a Chris Taylor impersonation. pic.twitter.com/4Xsk93i5Uk
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) October 22, 2021
Pollock dishes on Taylor
Taylor was supported by AJ Pollock, who provided two home runs of his own. But perhaps of greater intrigue, Pollock shared details of what excites Taylor.
“He’s a fun guy. He’s got his own personality that’s very unique. He’s not a big guy for the drama,” Pollock began. “He’s just super calm and he’s so consistent for us. … He’s very soft spoken and doesn’t get easily excited. The only thing that excites him, I’ve seen, is he likes to have a beer.
He gets excited about that, a beer with the boys. And then he loves watching surfing. Only two things that really — maybe the three home runs might have spiked his adrenaline, but probably not. Most likely just the beer and watching surfing.”
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