Dodgers crush Cubs to reach first World Series since 1988
The Los Angeles Dodgers are headed to the World Series for the first time since 1988 after routing the Chicago Cubs 11-1 in game five of the National League Championship Series.
Enrique Hernandez enjoyed a breakout game, recording three home runs, including a grand slam that put the Dodgers up 7-0 in the third inning.
Hernandez became the first player in MLB history to hit three home runs in a postseason game at Wrigley Field en route to seven RBIs, which were one short of the number of runs the Cubs scored in the entire NLCS.
QUINTANA'S SHORT START SPOILS CUBS' SECRET PLAN
The Cubs were going to pull out all the stops in game five to make sure the series went back to Los Angeles, but Jose Quintana ruined their plans.
According to USA Today Sports, Chicago had planned on letting Quintana go as deep as he could before bringing in Kyle Hendricks to close it out. It did not work out that way though as Quintana was not at his best.
The 28-year-old trade-deadline acquisition tossed two-plus innings, allowed six hits, six runs and a walk while striking out just one. He allowed a run in the first, another in the second and allowed four straight base hits to start the third inning before Joe Maddon removed him from the game.
TAYLOR, BELLINGER CONTINUE FAIRYTALE SEASONS
If someone had said prior to the 2017 season that Chris Taylor would start in center field and Cody Bellinger would hold down the first-base spot for a Dodgers team that won the National League pennant, many would have called that person crazy.
Bellinger is all of 21 years old and Taylor had hit a high of one home run in a major league season coming into 2017. But for anyone that has followed Los Angeles this season, the fact is Taylor has been their spark plug and Bellinger their heart.
It was the same story in game five. Taylor started the game with a walk, hit a ground-rule double in the third, and reached base on each of his first three plate appearances. Bellinger drove in Taylor for the Dodgers' first run and had a double and two singles in his first three at-bats.
The Dodgers are not going to the World Series because of Bellinger and Taylor, but they have been absolutely key components to the team's success and it would have been a lot harder to win the NL without them.
KERSHAW VINDICATED WITH GAME FIVE WIN
The seemingly never-ending storyline of Clayton Kershaw's lack of postseason success will not come to an end Thursday, but it will certainly be muted until the World Series starts.
The 29-year-old Dodgers starting pitcher tossed six innings of three-hit, one-run baseball and earned the win for Los Angeles to clinch the NL pennant. Kershaw started three games in the NL playoffs, went 2-0 with a 3.64 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 17.1 innings pitched.
It might not be a line that features a perfect game, but in two matchups with Quintana, Kershaw threw 11 innings and allowed just three runs. The Dodgers went 3-0 in his three starts.
HERNANDEZ CRUSHES GRAND SLAM
Hernandez had the game of his life. It started with a home run in the second inning and continued with a grand slam in the third.
DODGERS AWAIT OPPONENTS
The Dodgers now await the winner of the American League Championship Series between the Astros and the Yankees. New York lead the series 3-2 after winning three straight games at Yankee Stadium. However, Houston have recently acquired Justin Verlander on the hill and they are hopeful he can stop the bleeding. But New York have an All-Star going in Luis Severino, so they are confident the 23-year-old can get the job done too.