Chicago Cubs drop Game 5 as Dodgers advance to World Series
The Chicago Cubs gave it their all, but alas the Los Angeles Dodgers were too much in the end. They win the NLCS four games-to-one to advance to the World Series.
Following a vital win in Game 4 to stay alive in the NLCS, it was the same story and next man up mantra for the Chicago Cubs Thursday night.
Their odds, already large trailing the series 3-1, were larger against ace Clayton Kershaw, who made the start for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yet it was the Dodgers’ bats that were the difference as they routed the Cubs 11-1 to advance to the World Series.
Just too much L.A.
The Dodger offense was too much from the start including a five-run third inning in which they batted around. Cody Bellinger hit an RBI double down the right-field line to score Chris Taylor in the first inning, the first time in the series L.A. scored first.
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The Dodgers had 16 hits off Cubs’ pitching, and it was the five-run third which keyed the Dodger rout. Kiké Hernandez hit three home runs including a grand slam and had seven RBI. L.A. batted around the third inning.
Hernandez’s grand slam was the first Dodger postseason grand slam since James Loney in 2008. It was the fourth grand slam in postseason history for the Dodgers.
His seven runs batted in set an NLCS game record, and Hernandez is the first player to hit three home runs in a postseason game at Wrigley Field.
Of course, the last postseason grand slam which occurred at Wrigley Field just a year ago when Miguel Montero did the honors.
Better things ahead for Q
Jose Quintana entered his Game 5 start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on a roll but he would only last into the third inning on this night.
Quintana’s official line through two innings was six runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out one.
Kershaw also did his part on the mound to shut down the Cubs. Over six innings, he allowed one run on three hits, striking out five and walking one.
Kris Bryant hit his first home run since Sep. 25 to break the Dodgers shutout in the fourth inning.
Héctor Rondon, John Lackey, Brian Duensing, and Mike Montgomery pitched in relief for the Cubs. It was likely Lackey’s last appearance in a Cubs uniform, as the soon-to-be 39-year vet is at the end of his two-year contract on the North Side.
Brian Duensing, an unheralded hero out of the bullpen for Joe Maddon, is a free-agent-to-be. The Dodgers set an ML record for most consecutive shutout innings (23) by a bullpen in the postseason.
Next: Could Dellin Betances make sense for the Cubs?
The Dodgers advance to their first World Series since 1988. The loss in the NLCS snaps the Cubs’ five-game winning streak in elimination games. In the Maddon Era, they are 5-2 in such games since 2015.