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.
|Brisbane Roar 3 Perth Glory 2: Holman settles five-goal thriller|
|Gourvennec leaves Bordeaux after seventh defeat in eight games|
|Eight uncapped players make squad for England´s Six Nations opener|
|Stokes court date on same day as supposed England comeback|
|Pique agrees new long-term Barcelona contract|
|Wenger rules out Ozil sale as talks continue over Wilshere deal|
|Halep eases past struggling Bouchard|
|Sanchez-Mkhitaryan deal close, says Wenger|
|Retiring veteran Benneteau dumps Goffin out|
|Meunier blasts ´disgraceful´ PSG fans after Neymar boos|
|Pique demands better at Camp Nou after Espanyol ´insults´|
|Djokovic outlasts Monfils in Melbourne heat|
|Wizards get in scuffle in blowout loss to Hornets|
|Schweinsteiger re-signs with Chicago Fire for 2018|
|Rockets´ Ariza, Green suspended|
|Sharapova happy with improvement|
|Muguruza stunned as upsets continue at Australian Open|
|Juve trying everything to sign Can, says Marotta|
|He´s scared of me – Ferrell reveals Federer fears|
|Konta crashes out in shock Aus Open defeat to lucky loser|
|Brady limited in practice due to hand injury|
|Sharapova overcomes Sevastova in Melbourne|
|Rooney convinced me to join Everton – Walcott|
|Simeone: Sevilla deserved their win|
|Conte calls for VAR improvements|
|Neymar not angered by PSG whistles - Silva|
|FA Cup Review: Wigan dump Bournemouth out, nine-man Chelsea scrape through|
|Banvit beat Bayreuth to stay top as Gaziantep end losing streak|
|England won´t block Jones from Lions role|
|Valverde rues Barca profligacy in Espanyol defeat|
|Chelsea 1 Norwich City 1 (aet, 5-3 pens): Hazard and Caballero seal Blues progression|
|No generosity from Neymar as Cavani waits to make PSG history|
|Neymar sets Ligue 1 landmark with staggering individual display|
|Espanyol 1 Barcelona 0: Melendo ends unbeaten run|
|Paris Saint-Germain 8 Dijon 0: Neymar hits four as Cavani levels Ibrahimovic record|
|Atletico fan in ´serious condition´ after being stabbed before Sevilla game|
|Stokes ´can´t wait´ for England return after ECB clearance|
|Kawhi Leonard´s rehab shut down as quad problem lingers|
|Folger out of MotoGP season due to illness|
|Stokes should not take my place - Bairstow|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Sevilla 2: Montella´s men stage dramatic first-leg comeback|
|Steelers will not retain offensive coordinator Todd Haley|
|Lukaku will score 30 goals for Man Utd this season, predicts Yorke|
|Brady named writers´ NFL MVP|
|Du Plessis wants action on slow pitches|
|Johnson back to his best after Augusta accident|
|Liverpool loan Grujic to Cardiff|
|Centurion hero Ngidi aiming high|
|Mbappe: More to come from Neymar & Cavani partnership|
|Messi the greatest ever despite no World Cup win, insists Di Maria|
|Uncapped Larmour named in Ireland´s Six Nations squad|
|Villa determined to earn place in Spain´s World Cup squad|
|Walcott swaps Arsenal for Everton|
|Kohli bristles at selection questions|
|England forward Haskell handed four-week suspension|
|You even learn from Guardiola at home - Otamendi lauds Pep impact|
|Three-week ban for Bastareaud for alleged homophobic slur|
|IOC to consider joint Korean ice hockey team|
|Sri Lanka ODI woes drag on with Zimbabwe defeat|
|Batsmen let India down against South Africa - Kohli|
|Five fun facts as LeBron James chases 30K career points|
|Bastareaud named in France squad ahead of disciplinary hearing|
|Otamendi pens Man City deal to 2022|
|Neymar leads tributes to retiring Ronaldinho|
|Ronaldo must focus on playing - Zidane sidesteps exit talk|
|Dimitrov, Tsonga survive gruelling battles as Nadal cruises through|
|Carey ton sends Strikers back top of BBL|
|Zidane still an idol for James despite ´sad´ Madrid exit|
|Stoger will stay at Dortmund if ´everything fits´|
|Nadal backs move for financial parity but silent on boycott talk|