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.
|PSG? I haven´t decided my future yet – De Jong|
|Marcelo: Real Madrid don´t have attitude problem|
|India pair Ashwin, Rohit ruled out of second Test|
|Kovac: Ajax-Bayern draw was amazing|
|Sims re-signs with Dragons until 2022|
|Derrius Guice injury update: Redskins RB (knee) has rehab setback, undergoes 3 more procedures|
|Emery: Arsenal could sign defender in January|
|Phillies sign McCutchen to three-year deal|
|O´Neal thinks his Lakers teams could ´easily´ beat Warriors|
|A-League to add two clubs by 2020|
|Curry says he was ´obviously joking´ about moon landing comments|
|Now the beautiful part starts – Ronaldo ready for Champions League knockout stage|
|Bayern have a lot more potential – Lewandowski not satisfied despite top spot|
|Lyon star Fekir shares plaudits for Champions League progression|
|Mourinho not surprised by United´s defeat to Valencia|
|Motivation no issue for Benfica, claims Vitoria|
|Lewandowski finishes Champions League group stage as top scorer|
|Mourinho: We scored two goals and lost 2-1!|
|England have a diamond - Guardiola hails City´s Foden|
|Sterling´s carefree display invites us to love football more than others hate|
|Juventus achieved their objective, despite everything going wrong – Allegri|
|Never say never - Schmidt not ruling out All Blacks role|
|Bologna´s winning start ended in BCL|
|Di Francesco critical of Roma performance|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 1 Lyon 1: Fekir fires French side through in Group F|
|Benfica 1 AEK Athens 0: Grimaldo sends hosts out on a high|
|Young Boys 2 Juventus 1: Hoarau double seals famous victory|
|Manchester City 2 Hoffenheim 1: City through as group winners after Sane brace|
|Ajax 3 Bayern Munich 3: Kovac´s men clinch top spot in Amsterdam thriller|
|Valencia 2 Manchester United 1: Jones scores own goal as Red Devils limp through|
|Solari accepts responsibility for Madrid´s heaviest home defeat in Europe|
|WATCH: Rooney backs Rocky ahead of Canelo showdown|
|McLaren to collaborate with Team Bahrain Merida|
|Las Vegas to host 2020 NFL Draft|
|Stade teenager tragically dies after neck injury|
|Cahill may need to leave Chelsea if he wants to play, admits Sarri|
|Viktoria Plzen 2 Roma 1: Chory winner takes hosts into Europa League|
|Real Madrid 0 CSKA Moscow 3: Champions humiliated at Bernabeu|
|Sarri condemns ´disgusting´ Sterling abuse|
|Hansen hails outstanding Ben Smith ahead of Pau switch|
|Foden, Sterling start for Manchester City v Hoffenheim|
|Sky decision will not affect us in 2019, insist Froome and Thomas|
|Al Ain 3 Team Wellington 3 (aet, 4-3 on penalties): Shootout heartbreak for semi-pros in Club World|
|Jackson to remain Ravens´ starting QB despite Flacco return|
|Rams headline 2019 NFL International Series home teams|
|Rams headline International Series home teams for 2019|
|Atlanta want ´exciting football´ from new boss amid Bielsa links|
|Atlanta still yet to receive ´serious´ bid for ´Bale-like´ Almiron|
|Tottenham v Manchester United to be held at Wembley|
|Matip facing six weeks out with fractured collarbone|
|I´ve had quite a lot of calls – Brailsford encouraged by Team Sky interest|
|Afghanistan Football Federation president provisionally banned by FIFA|
|Knee injury rules Huddersfield´s Mooy out of Asian Cup|
|Arnautovic tipped for Man United move by Austria team-mate Sabitzer|
|Arsenal legend Adams to become RFL president|
|My love for football still burns strong – Toure speaks out amid talk of Premier League return|
|Noble contract extended to 2021|
|Split with Sky is an opportunity, says Brailsford|
|Van der Burgh rolls back the years, two more medals for Hosszu|
|Maitland-Niles praises Sterling for speaking out|
|Life is tough for him right now - Celtic striker Griffiths to take time away from football|
|Froome: Team Sky keen to continue with new partner|
|Emery confirms Koscielny to play against Qarabag|
|Llorente keen on Athletic return|
|I love the guy - Pocock backs under-pressure Cheika|
|Fit-again Ozil in line for Arsenal return against Qarabag|
|Raheem Sterling named Premier League Player of the Month|
|Two more Ligue 1 games postponed due to unrest|
|Pace attack among India´s best ever - Arun|
|Premier League has fostered ´excessive aggression´ among fans, says Scudamore|