Cubs shutout Dodgers 5-0 in Game 6 of NLCS and won the National League Pennant
Kyle Hendricks got the ball and outpitched Clayton Kershaw. The Cubs jumped on Kershaw early, grabbed a lead and never looked back. Hendricks and Aroldis Chapman faced the minimum over nine innings, allowing just two hits. And for the first time in 71 years, the Cubs were Champions of the National League.
Hendricks put together the best performance of his career. In what was arguably the Cubs biggest game, at the time, in team history, Hendricks shut down the Dodgers for 7 1/3 innings. Hendricks allowed two hits, did not walk a batter and struck out six while facing 23 batters, one over the minimum.
The Cubs defense was spectacular behind Hendricks and made all of the plays after he found a rhythm early on with Willson Contreras. Hendricks gave up a single to Andrew Toles to start the game. Toles was erased on a 4-3 double play, thanks to Javier Baez. Hendricks did not surrender another hit until there was one-out in the eighth. And by then the Cubs had a 5-0 lead.
The Cubs had a 1-0 lead two batters in. Dexter Fowler reached on a ground rule double and scored on a single by Kris Bryant. Andrew Toles misplayed a routine fly off the bat of Anthony Rizzo into a two-base error. Ben Zobrist plated Bryant with a sac fly. After one, the Cubs led 2-0.
The Cubs added single runs off Kershaw in the second, fourth and fifth innings.
Addison Russell started the second with a double and scored on a two-out single from Fowler.
Willson Contreras made it a 4-0 game in the fourth with a line drive homer to left.
In the fifth, it was Rizzo’s time to shine … and he gave the Cubs a five-to-nothing lead. Anthony Rizzo launched a two-out home run. At that point, there was a strong feeling the Cubs were going to win the Pennant.
Kyle Hendricks set the Dodgers down in order in the sixth and seventh innings. And he retired Adrian Gonzalez on a flyout for the first out in the eighth. Josh Reddick singled to center and Joe Maddon went to his pen.
Hendricks left the game to a standing ovation as the anticipation, and anxiousness, at Wrigley reached an all-time high. After all it was the eighth inning of Game 6 in the NLCS and the Cubs were five outs from The Series.
Aroldis Chapman got Howie Kendrick to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The Cubs did nothing against Kenley Jansen for the third straight inning. And the Cubs went to the ninth inning with a 5-0 lead … just three more outs.
Chapman struck out pinch-hitter Kike Hernandez. But he walked pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz. Yasiel Puig hit for Jansen and he rolled the first pitch to short.
The Cubs got the 6-4-3 double play this time … Addison Russell to Javier Baez to Anthony Rizzo … Wrigley erupted …
The Cubs reached another goal. And the National League Champions had made it to The World Series.
What an accomplishment it was. The Cubs were not done and for as good as the NLCS was, no one could have predicted how The World Series would play out.