Chris Taylor's solo home run in the seventh inning of Thursday's National League Championship Game made him only the 12th player to hit 3 home runs in a post-season game.
You may have heard that number.
Here's a number you may not have heard:
When Taylor came to the plate again in the eighth, he became only the sixth player who had a chance to hit a fourth homer.
None have done so, of course. Taylor hit a foul fly down the left field line, deep but short of the outfield wall. He ultimately swung and missed on a 3-2 pitch.
BABE PAVED THE WAY
The first player to hit 3 homers in a post-season game also was the first who batted again after doing so.
In Game 4 of the 1926 World Series, at home against the Cardinals, Babe Ruth hit solo shots in the first and third innings, walked in the fifth and homered with nobody on base in the sixth. Then he led off the eighth and was walked.
Ruth hit 3 homers at St. Louis in Game 4 of the 1928 World Series, but the third came in his final at bat, in the eighth inning. All 3 homers were solos. He also grounded into a double play in the first and to the first baseman in the fifth.
In Game 2 of the 1971 National League Championship Series, at San Francisco, Bob Robertson of the Pirates doubled, homered and struck out in his first 3 trips to the plate before hitting a 3-run homer in the seventh and a solo in the ninth.
Reggie Jackson famously hit 3 homers on 3 consecutive swings against 3 different pitchers for the Dodgers in Game 6 of the 1978 World Series at Yankee Stadium. He homered in the fourth, fifth and eighth, after having walked in the second.
3 HOMERS, 2 OUTS
The next year, at the same ballpark, George Brett of the Royals became the first player in 52 years to bat again after homering 3 times in a post-season game. He opened Game 3 of the American League Championship Series with a homer, then did it again with nobody on base in the third and fifth.
In the seventh, with 1 out and the Royals trailing, 4-3, Brett flied out to center.
The Royals took a 5-4 lead with 2 runs in the top of the eighth, but in the bottom Thurman Munson slugged a 2-run homer to put the Yankees back in front, 6-5.
Brett came up again with 1 out in the ninth and flied to left. Another fly out then ended the game.
Brett is the only player to have multiple chances to hit a fourth home run in a post-season game.
ADAM AND ADRIAN
Each of the next 2 players who hit 3 homers had a fourth plate appearance after doing so.
Adam Kennedy of the Angels hit a single in the seventh inning of Game 5 of the 2002 ALCS against the Twins. The Angeles scored 10 runs in that inning, 3 of them on Kennedy's final homer, with 2 on bases. His first 2 were solos, in the third and fifth.
All of Adrian Beltre's homers were with nobody aboard at Tampa Bay in Game 4 of the 2011 ALDS. They came in the second, fourth and seventh. Then he flied out in the ninth.
ALBERT AND PABLO
Albert Pujols hit his 3 homers at Texas in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series in his final 3 at bats, after he already had grounded out and singled twice. He homered with 2 on in the sixth, 1 on in the seventh and nobody on in the ninth.
A year later, Pablo Sandoval of the Giants homered in his first 3 PA against the Tigers in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series: solos in the first and fifth, a 2-run in the third. In the seventh, he singled.
JOSE AND KIKE
Sandoval was the last player to bat again after hitting 3 homers until Taylor on Thursday night.
Two players hit 3 homers between Sandoval and Taylor: Jose Altuve of the Astros, in Game 1 of the 2017 ALDS, and Kike Hernandez of the Dodgers, 2 weeks later, in Game 5 of the 2017 NLCS.
Altuve, playing at home against the Red Sox, hit solo homers in the first, fifth and seventh. He grounded into a double play in the third.
Hernandez's third homer capped a series-ending, 11-1 rout of the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He led off the second with a homer, then smashed a grand slam in the third. He popped up in the fourth and walked in the seventh before homering again with a man on in the ninth.
CUBS WITH 3 HOMERS
No Cub has hit 3 home runs in a post-season game.
None has hit 4 in a regular-season game.
Of the 41 times that a Cub hit 3 homers in a regular-season game, 14 had subsequent chances to hit a fourth.
Alfonso Soriano had 3 opportunities to hit a fourth homer at Atlanta on June 8, 2007.
After he hit solo homers in the first, second and fourth innings, Soriano was walked intentionally in the fifth and grounded to short in the seventh. In the ninth, he singled and was out stretching.
Three Cubs came up twice following their third homer.
Rick Monday was the first, at Philadelphia on May 16, 1972. Monday had homered with 2 on in the first, then with the bases empty in the third and fifth. But he popped up in the seventh and singled in the ninth.
Dave Kingman was next. In the epic, 23-22 loss at home to the Phillies on May 17, 1979, "Kong" smacked a 3-run homer in the first, a 2-run drive in the fourth and solo shot in the sixth. He then he flied out in the eighth and struck out in the 10th.
The last was Tuffy Rhodes, in his memorable season-opening game against the Mets on April 4, 1994. Rhodes slammed solo homers off Dwight Gooden in the first, third and fifth. In the sixth, with 2 on and 2 out Gooden was replaced by Eric Hillman, who walked Rhodes. He singled off John Franco leading off the ninth.
Only 1 player managed an extra-base hit after his third homer: George Mitterwald, who doubled in the eighth inning against the Pirates on April 17, 1974. He had homered in the first, third and sixth.
Six players followed their third homer with a single: Rogers Hornsby, in 1931; Adolfo Phillips, in 1967; Monday, in 1972; Rhodes, in 1994; Soriano, in 2007; and Soriano again, in 2008.
Rhodes was the only 1 to draw a conventional walk, although it came on 4 pitches.
Two were walked intentionally: Soriano, in 2007, as noted above, and Hank Sauer against the Phillies, on Aug. 28, 1950. That eighth-inning walk was issued by a reliever, who had just replaced Curt Simmons, off whom Sauer had homered in the second, fourth and sixth.
(Two years later, Sauer homered 3 times off Simmons again, to become the first Cub with 2 career 3-homer games.)
9 WERE RETIRED
Cubs who had hit 3 homers made 9 outs after their homer. Kingman, in the 23-22 game, was the only 1 to be retired more than once.
His fly out was 1 of 3 in such opportunities. His strikeout was 1 of 2; Hank Leiber fanned in 1939. There were 2 groundouts and 2 popups.
So, in 19 plate appearances after hitting a third homer, Cubs batted a collective .438 -- 7 for 16. Not too shabby!
A few of the players who did not get an opportunity to hit a fourth home run were removed from the game before it ended.
For example, after Billy Williams hit his third home run in bottom of the seventh inning against the Mets on Sept. 10, 1968, he did not take the field in the top of the eighth. Williams' replacement did not make it to the plate before the game ended.
But Sammy Sosa's did after he departed during 3 different 3-homer games. He left after hitting his third homer in the seventh inning on Aug. 9, 2001, and after hitting it in the sixth inning just 13 days later.
On Aug. 10, 2002, Sosa hit his third homer in the top of the fifth, then was replaced after the top of the sixth. His replacement then batted twice, in the seventh and ninth, so if Sosa had continued to play, he might have had 2 chances to hit home run No. 4.
Alfonso Soriano's third homer on Sept. 6, 2008, came in the sixth. He was pulled after he singled in the eighth. His replacement came to the plate in the ninth.