Dodgers on brink of World Series after 6-1 win
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[October 18, 2017]
CHICAGO -- Yu Darvish stood
center stage Tuesday night and realized he couldn't allow his
already hostile surroundings to become any more energized.
Giving up a first-inning home run that forced the Los Angeles
Dodgers to play from behind for the third straight game didn't help.
However, Darvish quickly was able to silence Wrigley Field and the
Chicago Cubs, putting the Dodgers on the verge of their first World
Series appearance since 1998.
Darvish allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings, and Chris Taylor homered
and drove in two runs as the Dodgers moved to within a victory of
the National League pennant with a 6-1 victory over the defending
World Series champion Cubs.
The Dodgers can advance with a win in Game 4 of the NL Championship
Series on Wednesday night.
Darvish struck out seven, scattered six hits and walked one as the
Dodgers took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The
right-hander also drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk.
"The story of the night, obviously, is Yu Darvish," Dodgers manager
Dave Roberts said. "After that first homer that he gave up ... he
was dominant. He just had that rhythm, the poise and didn't allow
whole lot of hard contact."
And what Darvish started, the Los Angeles bullpen finished.
The Cubs, who hadn't managed a hit off Dodgers relievers in the
NLCS, put runners on second and third in the ninth when Alex Avila
singled and Albert Almora Jr. followed with a double off
right-hander Ross Stripling. However, Los Angeles closer Kenley
Jansen got Addison Russell to pop out to first and then struck out
Tommy La Stella and Ian Happ to close out the victory.
As good as Dodgers pitchers were on the back end, Darvish -- who
yielded a solo home run to Kyle Schwarber in the first inning --
kept Cubs hitters off-balance all night.
"I really didn't change much approach-wise from first inning until
the end of the game," Darvish said. "I just kept pitching the same
As they have throughout the series, the Dodgers gave their pitchers
plenty of offensive support.
The Dodgers led 3-1 entering the sixth. After Yasiel Puig reached on
an error by Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, Andre Ethier singled and
Austin Barnes walked to load the bases. Cubs reliever Carl Edwards
Jr. got Joc Pederson to fly out for the second out, but then he
walked Darvish on four pitches to extend the margin to three.
Los Angeles tacked on a pair of runs in the eighth to break the game
open. After a walk to Logan Forsythe and a Barnes single, Forsythe
scored when Mike Montgomery's pitch bounded off the arm of catcher
Willson Contreras, which allowed Barnes to advance to third base.
Kyle Farmer followed with a sacrifice fly that gave the Dodgers
their biggest lead.
[to top of second column]
Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber (12) rounds the bases after hitting
a solo home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning
during game three of the 2017 NLCS playoff baseball series at
Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports
The Cubs, who have scored four runs in the series, again failed to
mount much offense.
"They just seem to be doing everything right right now," said
Bryant, who had two hits Tuesday. "Good at-bats, good bullpen, good
starting pitching. We just got beat."
With Los Angeles trailing 1-0 after Schwarber's homer, Ethier drew
the Dodgers even with a solo home run on the first pitch he saw from
Kyle Hendricks in the second inning.
Taylor broke a 1-1 tie in the third inning with a solo home run
before he extended the lead to 3-1 lead with a fifth-inning RBI
triple that scored Pederson, who doubled.
Hendricks gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits in five-plus
innings as the Dodgers remained unbeaten in the postseason.
"Obviously we're excited to be up 3-0, but honestly, we've just been
taking it one game at a time and just focusing on getting one win,"
Taylor said. "So we'll come in with the same mindset tomorrow and
focus on getting that one win."
NOTES: Dodgers C Austin Barnes started his fourth straight game.
Manager Dave Roberts opted to keep Barnes in the lineup as opposed
to Yasmani Grandal, who has struggled against Cubs RHP Kyle
Hendricks. Roberts said Tuesday he expects Grandal to start in Game
4 on Wednesday against Chicago RHP Jake Arrieta. ... Cubs LF Kyle
Schwarber's first-inning home run gave him six postseason homers,
which ties him with 1B Anthony Rizzo for the franchise record. ...
Chicago 2B Javy Baez did not start for the first time in the NLCS as
he was mired in an 0-for-19 postseason slump. Manager Joe Maddon
said he prefers to have Baez in the game for defensive purposes, but
instead started Ben Zobrist, who hit in the leadoff spot for
Chicago. Baez popped out as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning.
... Rizzo snapped an 0-for-16 slump with a sixth-inning single.
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