CHICAGO — Clayton Kershaw was born in the spring of 1988, which fall, Orel Hershiser shut out the Mets to clinch the Dodgers’ previous National League pennant. It seemed fitting that Kershaw was on the mound Thursday night at Wrigley Field, leading Los Angeles back to the World Series for the first time since that memorable October of’88.
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Hershiser, though, didn’t get the offensive assistance Kershaw failed Thursday night. Enrique Hern??ndez matched Major League postseason records with three home runs and seven RBIs — his grand slam in the third inning breaking it open — to rear Kershaw and electricity that the Dodgers to an 11-1 victory in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series presented by Camping World and remove the defending World Series champion Cubs.
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Los Angeles will now await the winner of this American League Championship Series between the Yankees and Astros. Game 1 of the best-of-seven World Series introduced by YouTube TV will probably be Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium — a consequence of the Dodgers having the most effective regular-season record at the very first year which determines home-field benefit at the Fall Classic.
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“Up there with getting married and having children, it is up there with a few of the best days of my entire life,” Kershaw said of reaching the Fall Classic. “Winning the World Series is all that we play with this game for. All the individual stuff is excellent, but in the end of the afternoon, I just need to win a World Series. When we win, I could retire, so I could just call it a profession. It’s a particular thing, and I know that I’m not taking that for granted.”
Hernandez is the first Dodgers player with three home runs in a postseason game, the 10th in MLB history, the very first from the NLCS since the Pirates’ Bob Robertson in Game two in 1971, and the first to perform it in any LCS match since the Angels’ Adam Kennedy in Game 5 of the 2002 American League Championship Series.
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