The Los Angeles Dodgers booked a return trip to the World Series behind steady power and sturdy pitching on Sunday [AEDT], defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 in game seven of the National League championship series.
Having been dinged after Game 2 of the series for not running out a grounder to shortstop, Machado went full-hustle to reach on a bunt single to lead off the second inning Saturday night. Jansen looked as good as he has all season long - striking out three of four batters faced and lacing 96 mile per hour cutters at the knees.
His lone mistake was the home run allowed to Yelich. They were lulled to a Game 3 loss, but prevailed in 13 innings in Game 4 and rode a dominant Kershaw in Game 5. The three-time Cy Young Award victor, pitching on two days of rest after starting Game 5, tossed a flawless inning and finished off the Brewers by striking out Mike Moustakas.
The game has changed in many ways, but it still comes back to big pitching performances, big plays and big hits like Bellinger's and Puig's home runs. The Dodgers and Red Sox have met once before in the World Series, back in 1916 with Boston beating Brooklyn behind a big game from pitcher Babe Ruth. Victor goes to the World Series; loser packs up and goes home.
Saturday's Game 7 was up 26% overall early numbers from the Dodgers' NLCS clincher a year ago, when they eliminated the Chicago Cubs in five games. "I really feel like that", Hader said. In early May, the Dodgers were 9 games out of first place, flirting with last place in the National League West, and were 10 games under.500. They fought their way back, but the NL West was so tight at the end of the season that the Dodgers and Colorado Rockies had to play Game 163 to break the tie at the top of the division. "I think everybody, if you would take a poll of the players, they would have chosen to have a 1:00 a.m. start, a little break, and then start the game again". There were two runners on and Jeremy Jeffress was on the mound.
It's not the first time Knebel has been scrutinized, either.