Hill outpitches Arrieta; Dodgers beat Cubs 6-0 for NLCS lead

Clayton Kershaw is proving he can get it done in October, tossing seven scoreless while allowing just two hits. "And it was just another fun ballgame". The Cubs were just as worse after a 8-4 victory in game 1 on Saturday, which included a Grand-slam in the 8th inning. What a smart play to see the runners going, deliberately let the ball short-hop him and then, after realizing he wasn't going to get the batter (Joc Pederson) at first base, firing to Russell to begin a rundown and get Gonzalez to end the inning. In his second matchup with the Cubs, at home on August 27, he gave up one run on six hits in six innings while matching a season high with eight strikeouts. "The thing that I was curious about was velocity and rotation before the game and he had both", Maddon said. Those early playoff exits were excruciating, but Thursday night's Game 5 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers felt different, though Werth, still reeling early Friday morning, couldn't pinpoint exactly why. There are signs of trouble: Six of the Cubs' 25 runs have come off the bats of pitchers: Kyle Hendricks's two-run single in NLDS Game 2; Travis Wood's solo home run later in that contest; and Jake Arrieta's three-run home run (off Madison Bumgarner, no less) in NLDS Game 3. Chicago plated four runs before San Francisco recorded an out in the ninth. When Baez hit a deep ball to center field, and the Wrigley faithful hopped to their feet, it seemed for a brief second that Kershaw had been beaten, that his past had caught up to his luck. "I felt pretty good about it once I hit it, but I still ran knowing that it could have easily not gone over the wall".

He almost did that in the fourth inning, turning a 1-1 fastball from Kershaw into a towering shot that cleared the outfield wall in right by plenty - it landed on Sheffield Avenue, behind Wrigley Field - but hooked just outside the foul pole. Rich Hill starts Game 3, and it's not hard to envision a scenario where the Dodgers win behind him to guarantee the series will at least be even by the next time Kershaw takes the mound. Since Clayton Kershaw didn't allow a runner to get to second base during Sunday night's dominant win, that wasn't an issue. "They've got the talent, so you can't think ahead", Grandal said. "So despite not having rest, his command and velocity were still good". Baez and Willson Contreras hit consecutive two-out singles in the fifth for Chicago's first baserunners, but Jason Heyward fouled out to third.

"I told my wife after the game (in Chicago), "I think Clayton's going to go back to the Bat Cave and we're all going to hop on the plane and go back to L.A.", the Dodgers" other left-hander said Monday back in L.A. The top of Joe Maddon's order went 0-for-11 against Kershaw and Kenley Jansen.

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But the script was flipped against Kershaw as Chicago struck out 10 times. Now, the series is all tied up, as the Dodgers won a game they had to - not mathematically had to, mind you, but had to because of context. Carl Edwards Jr., Mike Montgomery, Pedro Strop and Aroldis Chapman combined for 3 2/3 innings of hitless relief. "When he's on the mound we really like our chance of winning, and tonight he showed why". It was his second homer of the postseason.

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