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.
|Curry, Durant lead Warriors past Thunder|
|Kjaer surprised by LaLiga-leading Sevilla as Machin´s men remain grounded|
|A-League preview: Honda the big arrival as fascinating season awaits|
|Mexico 0 Chile 1: Sanchez helps La Roja to late win|
|Celtics too good for 76ers in NBA opener|
|United States 1 Peru 1: Flores salvages late draw for visitors|
|Martinez not worried about Belgium depth|
|Red Sox move ahead of Astros in ALCS|
|Depay ´a joy to watch´, says Koeman|
|Timberwolves owner looking to trade Butler, backs Thibodeau|
|Shepard says Giants have ´total faith´ in Manning|
|Hazard is out of this world – De Ligt enjoys Belgium test|
|Tite: Brazil were better than Argentina|
|Foley eyes World Cup after re-signing with Wallabies, Waratahs|
|Low slams decisive France penalty call|
|I fined him for his goal at Old Trafford! Giggs delighted for Wales hero Wilson|
|Matuidi lauds Deschamps´ tactical nous after Germany win|
|Scaloni excited by Argentina despite Brazil loss|
|Tsonga back in business, Dzumhur dumped out in Moscow|
|Germany suffer six defeats in a year for first time|
|Many clubs have asked about Piatek - agent|
|Bartomeu: Barca open to defensive reinforcements after Vermaelen injury|
|Bonn spoil PAOK´s landmark European game|
|Konta conquers Mertens in Moscow|
|Republic of Ireland 0 Wales 1: Wilson stunner moves Giggs´ side top|
|France 2 Germany 1: Griezmann delivers Low blow as Les Bleus reign in Paris|
|Belgium 1 Netherlands 1: Groeneveld cancels out Mertens strike|
|Argentina 0 Brazil 1: Miranda heads late winner after rivalry fails to ignite|
|Messi would struggle in this Manchester United team – Scholes|
|Falcons place Devonta Freeman on injured reserve|
|Westbrook ruled out of Thunder opener|
|Wilder´s team open to Joshua talks|
|Brentford appoint Thomas Frank as new head coach|
|England´s perfect performance sets the standard - Trippier|
|Odell Beckham Jr. needs to create headlines on the field, says Giants owner|
|Robshaw joins list of England absentees|
|Chile need goals from Sanchez despite United form - Rueda|
|Modric reveals Ronaldo respect, ´will never play with´ Messi|
|Osaka can be one of the greats, says coach Sascha Bajin|
|Liverpool´s Naby Keita carried off injured in Guinea match|
|Duminy to miss Australia tour for shoulder surgery|
|F1 Raceweek: Ferrari ready to ´challenge the impossible´ as Hamilton nears title|
|Umesh replaces injured Thakur in ODI squad|
|IAAF delay implementation of testosterone ruling amid Semenya challenge|
|Fakhar and Sarfraz lead Pakistan recovery after Lyon blitz|
|Japan see off Uruguay in seven-goal thriller|
|Arda Turan given huge fine by Istanbul Basaksehir after alleged brawl with singer|
|Busquets no better or worse than Dier – does Opta data back up Allardyce claim?|
|United boss Mourinho charged for alleged post-match comments by FA|
|Halep withdraws from Kremlin Cup ahead of WTA Finals|
|Renato Sanches eager for further Bayern Munich minutes|
|Nations League standings: Promotion, relegation and race for finals|
|Windies coach Law banned for ´inappropriate comments´ in India Test|
|Carrick denies Manchester United stars are ´not trying´|
|Ferrari struggling under pressure of chasing Mercedes, says Massa|
|Australia desperately need Smith and Warner back - Warne|
|Draxler warns Germany: Mbappe has 300 hp!|
|Draymond Green says Warriors will have to ´bring it´ every night in the West|
|England´s ´wonderful bravery´ leaves Southgate excited for the future|
|Jayasuriya: I always conduct myself with integrity and transparency|
|Northern Ireland stars hurt by lack of club football, says O´Neill|
|Rodgers inspires late Packers comeback|
|Brewers blank Dodgers to take 2-1 NLCS lead|
|Cavaliers, Nance agree to four-year extension|
|Ramos wants Spain to believe in Luis Enrique´s team|
|De Laurentiis: I´ve spoken to Genoa and agent about Piatek|
|Kaka tips bright future for Paqueta after Milan agreement|
|Suns star Booker set to return for season opener|
|Warriors coach Kerr not expecting fast start from NBA champs|
|Fultz to start for 76ers as Brown eyes NBA Finals|