The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Chicago Cubs 11-1 to win the National League Championship Series, and punch their official ticket towards the 2017 World Series on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.
An enormous 29-year wait is finally over, and the Boys in Blue are finally World Series bound for the first time since the 1988 championship team. Tommy Lasorda, the legendary manager of that team, was present in the first row to witness this outstanding moment in Dodgers history.
Another balanced effort from every player involved lead to another classic game, compiled with phenomenal production from players on one of the biggest stages in baseball.
Clayton Kershaw has picked up an unwarranted reputation for coming up short throughout previous postseason appearances, but the best starting pitcher in baseball picked up the victory after a solid performance (6.0 innings pitched, five strikeouts, three hits, one walk, and one earned run).
The bullpen has been amazing this postseason, and eclipsed a record of most scoreless innings pitched in a postseason (23.2 innings pitched)-passing the 1977 New York Yankees. It’s a truly remarkable note to mention, because their recent outings have made that milestone seem like it’s an understatement.
LA’s batting order is a nightmare for opposing pitchers, and the Boys in Blue were able to jump out on the Cubs from the start, which made it the first time the Dodgers took a lead first against Chicago in the NLCS. Co-MVP’s Chris Taylor, and Justin Turner, both contributed three hits and three runs overall. The hot-hitting tandem of Cody Bellinger, and Yasiel Puig, came in handy once again during Game 5 (five hits for five runs), but an unsung hero stole the show. Kike Hernandez batted fifth in the order, and tallied a tying LCS record 7 RBI’s off of the three home runs he hit.
This team is something else, and they’ve been able to demoralize their opponents by executing in any phase of the game. The current situation in the clubhouse is electrifying, but something about their brotherhood and comradery has separated Los Angeles from the rest of the league all season.
Let’s begin with what the legend himself, Tommy Lasorda, had to say about the Dodgers heading to the World Series:
Now we’ve finally got it after so many years. We know have it. We’re in the fall classic. I don’t know who we’re going to play yet but whoever it is I think they’re going to have a tough time.
Well I think they’re going to go all the way it’s about time.
Here’s what Dave Roberts had to say about winning the 2017 National League Pennant during the postgame conference for reporters in Chicago:
There’s just so many things that I could probably touch on. First thing that comes to mind is Clayton, and how long he’s been a Dodger, and how much he’s wanted an opportunity to win a championship.
I think of the city of Los Angeles, and how much they’ve been longing for another championship to come back to Los Angeles. I think about every individual, and staff, and coaches, and their families, and what we had to sacrifice to get to where we’re at. To do what we did takes a lot of talent, a lot of give, a lot of open-mindedness, and there was a complete buy-in.
Hats off to Joe and his staff. Class organization and great fan-base. For us to be able to celebrate here at Wrigley Field is something obviously we don’t take lightly and try to do it in a classy way and respectful, but still enjoy the moment.
TBS Reporter Sam Ryan caught up with Clayton Kershaw after the final out in Game 5, and here’s what the future Hall of Famer had to say about the moment, and his teammates:
It feels good to hear World Series. It’s been a long time coming for this team, and I’m kind of at a loss for words right now. I never thought, in a million years, that I’d ever get to play for a World Series.
I know we got four more to go. I’m excited about it, but right now, it’s tough to sink in. We knew the Cubs would bring their A-game today, and I can’t say enough about what our offense did today.
Kike, he told me he had my back today. He came through, and this team, that’s what it’s all about.
Kike Hernandez was able to touch on his performance, pride for Puerto Rico, and what went through his mind during those at-bats before he crushed his three home runs at Wrigley Field Thursday evening:
Quintana likes to get ahead with a fastball off the first pitch, so I went out their aggressive, and I was able to hit it out.
Next at-bat, on Rendon, it’s no secret that I struggle against righties… But the postseason, you have to grind it out, and lock in. Just do your job, even if you get hit by a pitch or something, but he really gave me a good pitch to hit, and I was able to swing on it.
The third one, I don’t even know what happened (laughs). I honestly don’t know.
Kenley Jansen caught up with reporters in the middle of all of the champagne celebration and had this to say about the team’s unity and why he came back to Los Angeles:
This is the reason why. We know how close we got and we know it’s unfinished business. We know how good we are. That’s the reason why we wanted to come here. We wanted to bring a championship so bad to L.A.
We’re a family. That’s how it is here. We’re so close to each other. We have fun together. We struggle together. We win it together. That’s why we have a lot of fun.
The co-MVPs of the NLCS caught up with the media and discussed what it means to share the honor as well as help carry the Dodgers to the World Series:
Justin Turner – It’s incredible. What CT has done for our lineup all year long settling in to the leadoff spot, getting on base, the baserunner that he is, hitting balls over the fence. He’s a dynamic player and a table setter and when he goes, we usually go as a team. I think you guys saw that in the postseason.
Chris Taylor – I think everybody could have predicted it was going to be co-MVPs. If you could have given it to more than two guys I’m sure we would have. All year long it’s been a different guy every night and a total team effort all the way around.
Finally, Yasiel Puig shared a few words about what the Dodgers mean to him and a message to his teammates. And yes, he sticks out his tongue in the end of the video:
I’m so happy that the Dodgers gave me a second opportunity from last year to be in the lineup everyday. Now my team is going to the World Series.
I want to say thank you to all of my teammates. Keep going. Do the preparation. Everybody needs to be ready for the World Series right now.
This team has been so exciting to watch. What was your favorite moment of the NLCS? Let us know in the comments below!
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