The ride to a repeat is officially over.The LA Dodgers won the NL Pennant by thrashing the Cubs 11-1 in Game 5 of the NLCS to take the series 4-1. It’s the first time the Dodgers have reached the World Series in 29 years and ends the Cubs bid for back to back titles.
Dodgers LF Kike Hernandez had the game of his life. He went 3-4 with 3 HR’s and a carrer high 7 rbi’s. Yasiel Puig, Charlie Culberson and Cody Belinger all chipped in with 3 hits a piece and leadoff man Chris Taylor set the tone reaching base 3 of 5 times. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw had a vintage quality start as he went 6 innings giving up 3 hits and 1 run while walking one and striking out five. “This is up there with getting married and having kids…one of the best days of my life. If we win, I might retire so I might just call it a career. It’s special and I’m not taking it for granted,” said Kershaw when asked about heading to the World Series.
The Cubs season wasn’t a disappointment by any means but it showed the grit and grind of what it takes to repeat as champions. They started the season slow (championship hangover) and never really got back to that Cubs brand of baseball we have seen over the last couple of years.
Joe Maddon summed it up best. “We know what it feels like coming off of last year. We were celebrating versus them in this exact spot. They’ve had a spectacular year. We’re only here because we know what it takes to do this. I’m already excited about camp because I already know what the message is and I know the guys do too.”
Anthony Rizzo & Kris Bryant had postseasons to forget. Bryant hit .200 (8/40) with 1 hr, 3 rbi and 14 K’s while Rizzo hit .135 (5/37) with 0 hr, 6 rbi (which were all in the NLDS) and 14 K’s. I definitely expected more from “Bryzzo” but when Bryant admitted to the team being drained from the series against the Nationals, it was all but over. Javier Baez struggled most of the postseason as well as the Cubs managed to score their only runs of the series via the long ball. They were hanging on by a thread and the LA Dodgers made sure there was no repeat of last year.