Dodgers Advance to World Series Behind 3 Home Run Performance by Enrique Hernandez
The Los Angeles Dodgers put an end to the Chicago Cubs hopes of consecutive World Series appearances by trouncing the Cubs 11-1 in Game 5 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field on October 19th. The Dodgers won their 22nd National League Pennant and tenth since moving to Los Angeles, but it’s their first one since 1988.
Enrique Hernandez, who hit .215 with 11 homers and 37 RBIs in 140 games during the regular season, hit a post season record tying three homers with seven runs batted in for the Dodgers.
L.A.s pitching staff was also superb, limiting the Cubs to a .156 batting average and .193 on base percentage. The Dodgers had the best regular season record in the majors at 104-58, and are 7-1 in the post season. They’ll face the winner of the ALCS, either the New York Yankees or Houston Astros.
Besides not hitting, Cubs pitching could not shut down the Dodgers hitters, especially Justin Turner, Yasiel Puig, and Chris Taylor. Although the Cubs had a good second half of the regular season and did win their Division Series against Washington, the team just didn’t seem as good as last year’s World Champs, who started hot and stayed that way through the World Series. The Cubs never found a decent lead off hitter to replace Dexter Fowler, and the offense in general was a couple of notches down from last year. The team will need to make some other changes; pitchers Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, and closer Wade Davis are among those whose contracts are up. Lackey will almost certainly be gone, while they’ll probably make an effort to keep the other two. The Cubs aren’t on the downswing—they have a lot of good young players on the roster—but a few moves are necessary to not only try to get back to the World Series, but also to stay ahead of the Cardinals and Brewers in the N.L. Central.