Long-suffering Cubs blitz Dodgers to reach World Series

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The Chicago Cubs advanced to the MLB World Series for the first time since 1945 after shutting out the Los Angeles Dodgers X-X.

After years of waiting, the Cubs finally returned to the big time with a 4-2 National League (NL) Championship Series victory.

Kyle Hendricks starred in a near-flawless performance, finishing with six strikeouts, zero walks and just two hits allowed in just over seven innings.

It sparked joyous scenes at Wrigley Field on Saturday as the Cubs look ahead with a showdown against the Cleveland Indians and a chance at winning the World Series for the first time since 1908.

 

CUBS' YOUNG BATS PERKED UP AT RIGHT TIME

Cubs fans were beginning to wonder who was wearing Anthony Rizzo's uniform this postseason before he collected three hits, a home run and three RBIs in game four of the NLCS. He added two more hits in game five, than sent another ball out of the park on Saturday, reassuring everyone - except Indians pitchers - that he is going to be a tough out in the World Series.

Kris Bryant, who has been steady all throughout the postseason, drove in the game's first run when he singled home Dexter Fowler. In addition to Chicago's top two stars, second baseman Javier Baez and catcher Wilson Contreras have grown up on baseball's biggest stage, proving they can be trusted in key situations. If the Cubs keep hitting like they did the last three games of the NLCS, the World Series could be void of drama.

Many thought this series was destined for a game seven with Clayton Kershaw, a six-time All-Star and three-time NL Cy Young winner on the mound. But he struggled with his command early and often Saturday, leaving his fastball and off-speed pitches up in the zone where Cubs hitters could take advantage. Kershaw entered game six with a 4-6 record and a disappointing 4.39 ERA throughout his career in the postseason. He gave up four more runs, three earned, off of seven hits in five innings in Saturday's loss, which means he has now lost at least one game every postseason in which he has started a game.

 

THERE IS A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING!

Wilson Contreras smashed his first career postseason home run.

 

WORLD SERIES GAME ONE

It is official, the Cubs are back in the World Series. Now, a juicy matchup between Joe Maddon and Terry Francona will act as a chess match in this best-of-seven series, starting on Tuesday. The American League has home-field advantage after winning the All-Star game, but Cleveland has to get back in the competitive spirit after enjoying almost a week off.