CUBS’ DROUGHT ENDS:
Wrigley crowd sees team earn first trip to Classic since 1945
Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton Kershaw, and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series. Seeking their first title since 1908, the Cubs open the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven’t won since 1948.
CHICAGO — Pitching coach Chris Bosio leaned back into his chair when asked to assess manager Joe Maddon’s style during a session at Cubs Convention in January.
“Joe tries to win every inning,” Bosio said in a convincing manner.
Never was that mission so apparent than Saturday night when former No. 5 starter Kyle Hendricks pitched 71⁄3 innings of twohit ball, and a relentless offense knocked out threetime Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw after five innings to put an exclamation point on a 5-0 victory to seize the National League Championship Series before a delirious Wrigley Field crowd of 42,386.
The Cubs outscored the Dodgers 23-6 in the final three games to win this best-of-seven series 4-2 and claim their first league title since 1945.
The ultimate, yet singular mission of the 2016 season — to win the World Series title — starts Tuesday night against the American League champion Indians at Progressive Field.
The Cubs’ fundamental blueprint was executed to near perfection from the start, as second-base wizard Javier Baez chased Andrew Toles out of the base line to start a double play in the top of the first, and slugger Kris Bryant poked a low, outside pitch into right to score Dexter Fowler with the first of two firstinning runs.
The Cubs capitalized on an error by Toles in left field to score their second run of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Ben Zobrist, marking the first time Kershaw allowed two runs in the first inning this season.
Unlike Game 2, when Kershaw needed only 32 pitches to get through three innings, the Cubs taxed Kershaw as Baez fouled off three two-strike pitches before popping to first as Kershaw needed 30 pitches to get out of the first.
Meanwhile, Fowler’s two-out single scored resurgent Addison Russell in the second, and the Cubs added home runs by Willson Contreras and Anthony Rizzo in the fourth and fifth.