After a year that saw the Dodgers display uncommon resiliency and fight, showing they could win without Clayton Kershaw for over a third of the season, the postseason run came to an end on a night when the ace was all by himself, and not at his best. The Cubs beat Kershaw and the Dodgers 5-0 in Game 6 of the NLCS, advancing to the World Series and ending the Dodgers’ 2016.
The odometer now moves to 28 years without a World Series appearance, let alone a championship.
Kershaw allowed five runs in his five innings, including a double in each of the first three innings then a home run in each of the next two. The five extra-base hits matched a career high, done three other times, the last on May 28, 2014.
The Cubs scored two runs off Kershaw in the first, then single runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings to end his night.
The offense was pretty much nonexistent. After a leadoff single by Andrew Toles in the first inning, he was immediately erased on a double play. Then Kyle Hendricks faced the minimum through seven, and pitched scoreless baseball into the eighth.
The only other runner to reach base against Hendricks was Josh Reddick, who reached on a fielding error in the second then got picked off, then later singled in the eighth, and was doubled up.
It was roughly 96 hours ago but it seems like ages that the Dodgers held a 2-1 series advantage in the NLCS. But the 103-win Cubs rose to the occasion, outscoring the Dodgers 23-6 over the final three games to advance to their first Fall Classic since 1945.
A World Series the Dodgers will be forced to watch at home. Again.
NLCS Game 6 particulars
Home runs: Anthony Rizzo (2), Willson Contreras (1)
WP - Kyle Hendricks (1-1): 7⅓ IP, 2 hits, 6 strikeouts
LP - Clayton Kershaw (2-1): 5 IP, 7 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 4 strikeouts