The Los Angeles Dodgers are going back to the World Series, knocking off the upstart Milwaukee Brewers tonight 5-1 in a sudden-death Game 7 in the National League Championship Series. That victory gives them the right to face the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, which starts Tuesday.
Riding a three-run home run in the sixth inning by outfielder Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers silenced the raucous home crowd at Miller Park in Milwaukee, which had hoped to see its first World Series return since 1982. The David vs. Goliath match-up of big-money Dodgers versus small-market Brewers provided all sorts of drama, but in the end, the Dodgers strong pitching, some sterling defense, and Puigs power proved too much.
The win was particularly sweet for Big Blue, as they lost a similar opportunity last year by dropping a Game 7 showdown to the Houston Astros in the World Series. Now, they have a chance to make things right, starting with Game 1 Tuesday in Boston against a Red Sox team that won 108 games in the regular season and beat the Astros and New York Yankees to advance.
The match-up of two of Major League Baseballs most popular and prominent teams should be a ratings bonanza for Fox Sports, which is televising the World Series.
The 2018 World Series is the fourth trip to the games in the last 15 years for the Red Sox, who won championships in 2004, 2007 and 2013. The Dodgers return for a second straight year, creating a rematch of the 1916 Fall Classic, won in five games by Boston, who was led by a 21-year-old pitcher named Babe Ruth.
In tonights Game 7, the Brewers started right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in the game, but were forced to quickly go to bullpen weapon Josh Hader when Chacin proved ineffective, giving up a two-run home run to Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger in the second inning. Hader delivered, holding the Dodgers in three scoreless innings and limiting them to one hit, but had to give way to the rest of the bullpen, which proved fatal to Milwaukees hopes.
For the Dodgers, rookie Walker Buehler worked into the fifth and gave up just one run. He had lost his two previous post-season starts, but came up big when the team needed him most.
The Dodgers used a secret relief weapon of their own in the bottom of the ninth, bringing on starter Clayton Kershaw for the final inning to close out the Brewers in three batters.