After knocking out the defending champion Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series with an 11-1 victory at Wrigley Field on Thursday, the Dodgers are back in the World Series for the first time since 1988, when Orel Hershiser and Kirk Gibson led the team to a dramatic upset of the Oakland A’s.
This is the Dodgers’ 11th postseason appearance since then, and their stretch of 10 appearances in a row without a title is an MLB record. That history has been punctuated by four previous losses in the NLCS, including last season when the Cubs beat them in six games, a defeat that prompted ace starter Clayton Kershaw to admit the Cubs were “just the better team.”
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This year was different. Kershaw was once again on the mound for the Dodgers, but this time trying to pitch his team into the World Series instead of facing elimination. In his five previous NLCS starts dating to 2013, the Dodgers had been shut out three times and scored only six runs — three of those coming in Game 1 of this series after Kershaw was knocked out.
Bellinger set a National League rookie record with 39 home runs and doubled in Taylor in the first inning Thursday for the game’s first run. Bellinger also singled and scored ahead of Hernandez’s homer in the third and singled and scored in the fourth.
The team has home-field advantage when they face off against either the New York Yankees or Houston Astros on Tuesday.
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