We’ve all heard the narratives. The Chicago Cubs are 5-0 in elimination games. Clayton Kershaw can’t deliver in the crucial postseason game. But finally, this year is different. The Los Angeles Dodgers, after a 29 year drought, are returning to the World Series, defeating the Chicago Cubs by a score of 11-1.
It’s only fitting that Kershaw be the one to get the win that finally put the Dodgers over the hump to get to the World Series. Heartbreak after heartbreak through the last four postseasons, many of them coming off games that Kershaw pitched. But not this time. Kershaw went six innings, allowing just three hits, one walk, one earned run, and five strikeouts for the win.
As with all the other games this postseason, it was a total team effort. The defense was phenomenal, with outstanding plays by Charlie Culberson, and Logan Forsythe. Hits came from up and down the lineup. Kenta Meada pitched a perfect seventh, Brandon Morrow allowed a hit but struck out the side,
Taylor led third with a double, and Justin Turner promptly singled him in. Bellinger and Puig followed with singles, chasing José Quintaña from the game. Hector Rondon took over. Forsythe struck out, but Hernandez hit his second home run of the night, a grand slam that spilt the game wide open.
Logan Forsythe hits a two run double off of John Lackey in the top of fourth, making it 9-0. Kris Bryant spoiled the fun by getting the first hit of the game off Kershaw, a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth.
But Kiké was the star of the show, hitting his third home run in the top of the ninth, gathering seven RBI in one game, an NLCS record. Such a well deserved night for a man who has endured so much in the past few years, with his father battling cancer and his beloved Puerto Rico being decimated by a hurricane just a month ago.
The last out was fittingly made by Culberson, who filled in so well for the ailing Corey Seager. Fittingly, there were co-MVPs, Justin Turner and Chris Taylor. A total team effort that finally got them over the mountain that has been so hard to climb for so long. Game 1 of the World Series will be Tuesday, Oct 24 at Dodger Stadium, opponent to be determined.
(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERSANDYINPA)