2016 National League Championship Series
|MVP:||Javier Báez and Jon Lester (Chicago)|
|Television:|| FS1 (English)|
Fox Deportes (Spanish)
|TV announcers:|| Joe Buck, John Smoltz, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci (English)|
Carlos Álvarez and Duaner Sánchez (Spanish)
|Radio:|| ESPN (English)|
ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
|Radio announcers:|| Dan Shulman and Aaron Boone (English)|
Eduardo Ortega, José Francisco Rivera, and Orlando Hernández (Spanish)
|Umpires:||Ted Barrett, Gary Cederstrom, Eric Cooper, Ángel Hernández, Alfonso Márquez, Paul Nauert and Bill Welke.|
|NLDS:||Chicago Cubs beat San Francisco Giants (3–1)|
|Los Angeles Dodgers beat Washington Nationals (3–2)|
|2016 World Series|
The 2016 National League Championship Series was a best-of-seven playoff in which the Chicago Cubs defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League (NL) pennant and the right to play in the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians. As winners of one of the Division Series and the team with the best regular season record in the National League, the Cubs earned home-field advantage regardless of opponent. The series was the 47th in league history. FS1 televised all of the games in the United States.
The 2016 NLCS was the Cubs' second consecutive NLCS appearance and fifth overall. Chicago lost its first four NLCS appearances, in 1984, 1989 and 2003, and most recently were swept in the 2015 National League Championship Series by the New York Mets. This was the first time the Cubs have made back-to-back NLCS appearances. The Cubs had not won a World Series championship since 1908 or played in the World Series since 1945.
This was the Dodgers' 11th overall appearance in the NLCS. Los Angeles was in the NLCS for the first time since losing the 2013 National League Championship Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Dodgers split their previous ten NLCS appearances, with their most recent victory in 1988, the same year they last appeared in and won the World Series.
This was the second postseason meeting between the Cubs and the Dodgers. Their only other postseason series was the 2008 National League Division Series, in which the Dodgers swept the Cubs in three games.
The Cubs won the regular season series 4 games to 3. Chicago won three of the four games played at Wrigley Field from May 30 to June 2, while Los Angeles took two out of three games played at Dodger Stadium from August 26 to 28.
With the Cubs' and Dodgers' appearances, the winning team was guaranteed to end a pennant drought of at least 28 years. The last time a NLCS had two teams that had pennant droughts of more than 25 years was 1989, when the Giants had a 27-year drought and the Cubs a 44-year drought.
Chicago won the series, 4–2.
|1||October 15||Los Angeles Dodgers – 4, Chicago Cubs – 8||Wrigley Field||3:37||42,376|
|2||October 16||Los Angeles Dodgers – 1, Chicago Cubs – 0||Wrigley Field||2:45||42,384|
|3||October 18||Chicago Cubs – 0, Los Angeles Dodgers – 6||Dodger Stadium||3:18||54,269|
|4||October 19||Chicago Cubs – 10, Los Angeles Dodgers – 2||Dodger Stadium||3:58||54,449|
|5||October 20||Chicago Cubs – 8, Los Angeles Dodgers – 4||Dodger Stadium||4:16||54,449|
|6||October 22||Los Angeles Dodgers – 0, Chicago Cubs – 5||Wrigley Field||2:36||42,386|
| WP: Aroldis Chapman (1–0) LP: Joe Blanton (0–1)|
LAD: Andre Ethier (1)
CHC: Miguel Montero (1), Dexter Fowler (1)
With Clayton Kershaw having to unexpectedly close out the 2016 National League Division Series against the Nationals and Rich Hill having to start that game on three days' rest, the Dodgers turned to Kenta Maeda to open the series. Opposing him was Cubs' ace Jon Lester. The Cubs got to Maeda early, scoring three runs in the first two innings to take a 3–0 lead, highlighted by a steal of home by Javier Báez. The steal of home by Baez was the first Cubs player to do so in the postseason since 1907. Jon Lester pitched well, allowing only one run (a pinch hit home run by Andre Ethier) in his six innings. A bases loaded single by Adrian Gonzalez off Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman tied the game in the top of the eighth inning but the Cubs came back in the bottom of the inning. Miguel Montero hit a pinch hit grand slam off of Joe Blanton and Dexter Fowler followed it up with a solo homer of his own on the very next pitch. The Dodgers would add a run off of Héctor Rondón in the ninth, but Montero's game-winning slam proved too big of a deficit to overcome.
Game 1 marked the Cubs' first NLCS win since Game 4 in 2003. They had previously lost seven straight National League Championship Series games.
| WP: Clayton Kershaw (1–0) LP: Kyle Hendricks (0–1) Sv: Kenley Jansen (1)|
LAD: Adrian Gonzalez (1)
Game 2 featured a match-up between two of the stingiest pitchers in the National League in 2016, in terms of earned run average. Clayton Kershaw and Kyle Hendricks were the top two in earned run average in baseball, although the former didn't have enough innings to qualify. The start marked the fourth appearance in ten games for Kershaw in the 2016 playoffs. For Hendricks, this was his first appearance since being hit in the forearm on a line drive by Ángel Pagán in the Game 2 of the National League Division Series.
The game lived up to the billing of a pitcher's duel. Kershaw pitched seven shutout innings and the Dodgers edged the Cubs, 1–0, to even up the series at one. The only run of the game scored in the second inning on a homerun by Adrian Gonzalez. Hendricks pitched 5⅓ innings of one-run ball, while the four different Cubs relievers allowed three baserunners over 3⅔ innings. Kenley Jansen, whose previous outing in the NLDS was a seven-out, 51-pitch outing, saved his first game of his career requiring six-outs. It was the Dodgers first six-out save in the postseason since Jay Howell in Game 4 of the 1988 World Series. Jansen needed just 18 pitches to earn the save and tie the series at a game apiece.
Game 2 was the Cubs' second 1–0 game of the postseason and first loss since Babe Ruth and the Boston Red Sox blanked them in the 1918 World Series opener at Comiskey Park. This was also the first time the Dodgers had won a Championship Series game on the road since game five of the 1988 NLCS against the Mets.
| WP: Rich Hill (1–0) LP: Jake Arrieta (0–1)|
LAD: Yasmani Grandal (1), Justin Turner (1)
The Dodgers opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning. Andrew Toles led off with a single to left, advanced to second base on a ground out by Hill, then scored with two outs on a Corey Seager single to left field. Yasmani Grandal added two runs in the fourth with a two-run homer to right field. The Dodgers tacked on another in the fourth as Justin Turner drilled a solo homer to center field, chasing Arrieta from the game. Hill, meanwhile, pitched six shutout innings, limiting the Cubs to two hits and two walks with six strikeouts on 93 pitches.
Joe Blanton threw a scoreless inning in the seventh and Grant Dayton and Kenley Jansen combined to do so in the eighth. In the bottom of the eighth, against reliever Mike Montgomery, Yasiel Puig singled with one out and came around to score on a double down the left field line by Joc Pederson, improving the Dodgers’ lead to 5–0. Pederson would steal third base and score on a Grandal ground out, making it 6–0. Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth to end the game.
This was the first time the Dodgers shut out a team back-to-back in the postseason in their history. It was just the fourth time in LCS history a team posted consecutive shutout wins. The back-to-back shutouts marked the first time the Cubs had been shutout in back-to-back games since May 27–28, 2014. The Cubs hitting slump continued as the 2-3-4-5 hitters went 3–27 in the two shutouts. The win gave the Dodgers a 2–1 series lead.
| WP: Mike Montgomery (1–0) LP: Julio Urías (0–1)|
CHC: Addison Russell (1), Anthony Rizzo (1)
As the Cubs entered Game 4, they looked to break their two-game scoring drought. Playoff veteran John Lackey took the mound for the Cubs, as the Dodgers started Julio Urías, the youngest pitcher to start a game in postseason history. The Cubs' struggles continued as Urías held them without a hit through three innings. In the bottom of the second, the Dodgers had a scoring chance denied as Adrian Gonzalez was thrown out at the plate by Jason Heyward after an Andrew Toles single. Dave Roberts called a video review but the call stood and it ended the inning. In the fourth, the Cubs bats began to awaken. Ben Zobrist notched the first Cub hit of the game as he bunted to lead off. Javier Báez and Willson Contreras followed with singles to score Zobrist. The run marked the first scored by the Cubs in 21 innings. A Heyward groundout pushed home another run and left Contreras at third for Addison Russell. On an 0–2 pitch, Russell broke out of his slump with a two-run homer to put the Cubs up 4–0. Urías was lifted one batter later. In the top of the fifth, the Cubs breakout continued with Anthony Rizzo hitting a home run on a full count and pushing the lead to 5–0. Back-to-back walks to lead off the bottom of the fourth forced Lackey from the game. Reliever Mike Montgomery gave up a single to load the bases before striking out Corey Seager. A single off of Montgomery's glove by Justin Turner brought in two runs, and the Dodgers reduced the lead to 5–2. Montgomery retired the next two batters to end the threat. In the top of the sixth, the Cubs blew the game open. Russell singled and reached second on a throwing error. Montgomery singled, moving Russell to third. Dexter Fowler singled to score Russell. Following a Kris Bryant walk, Rizzo notched his second hit of the game as he singled to score two runs and increase the lead to 8–2. Following a single by Zobrist to load the bases, Báez hit a sacrifice fly to center fielder Joc Pedersen. Pedersen's throw to home got by the catcher as Bryant scored, and Rizzo came home on the wild throw as well, ballooning the lead to 10–2. The Cub bullpen shut down the Dodgers for the remainder of the game, and the series was tied at two games apiece.
| WP: Jon Lester (1–0) LP: Joe Blanton (0–2)|
CHC: Addison Russell (2)
With the series tied at two games apiece, the Cubs looked to Jon Lester to keep up his strong playoff performance. The Dodgers also went with their Game 1 starter, Kenta Maeda. The Cubs started the scoring in the first inning on a single by Dexter Fowler and an RBI double by Anthony Rizzo, but could muster nothing further in the first. The Cubs left runners on base in the first, second, fourth, and fifth innings, but could not get another run in. The Dodgers tied the game in the bottom of the fourth following a Howie Kendrick double and steal of third. Adrian Gonzalez hit the ball to Rizzo, who could not field it cleanly, and the run scored as a result. The Dodgers lifted Maeda in the fourth inning. In the sixth, Javier Báez continued his strong post-season play by singling to start the inning. Following a strikeout of Jason Heyward, Addison Russell homered to center field to break the deadlock and put the Cubs up 3–1. After stranding two more runners in the seventh, the Cubs offense broke the game open in the eighth. Russell reached on an error and pinch hitter Willson Contreras singled to put runners at first and second. Pinch hitter Albert Almora, Jr. bunted the runners over, and Dexter Fowler following with an infield single to score the Cubs' fourth run of the game. An infield single by Kris Bryant scored Contreras, and a walk by Ben Zobrist loaded the bases for Báez. Báez, as he had done all postseason, came through with a bases-clearing double to put the Cubs up 8–1. The Dodgers scored a run in the bottom of the eighth off Pedro Strop on a double by Carlos Ruiz. Cub closer Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth inning and allowed a run-scoring single by Josh Reddick and a sacrifice fly by Andrew Toles to make the score 8–4. Chapman induced Justin Turner to ground out to end the game. The win put the Cubs on the brink of the World Series with a three games to two lead as the series moved back to Wrigley Field. The Cubs performed well against the Dodgers' bullpen in the series, scoring 26 runs in 26⅔ innings pitched by Maeda and the Dodger bullpen.
| WP: Kyle Hendricks (1–1) LP: Clayton Kershaw (1–1)|
CHC: Willson Contreras (1), Anthony Rizzo (2)
Cubs pitchers Kyle Hendricks and Aroldis Chapman combined to allow only two hits, one walk, and face the minimum 27 batters, the first time this had occurred in postseason play since Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series. The Cubs won the series four games to two and won the pennant for the first time since 1945, and the first time to win the pennant at home since 1932. Hendricks pitched 7⅓ shutout innings, allowing just two hits and walking no one. After he allowed a single in the eighth, Chapman entered and forced a double play to end the eighth and a double play grounder to end the game, series, and the Cubs' 71-year pennant drought. Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras each hit solo home runs and Kris Bryant, Ben Zobrist, and Dexter Fowler each drove in a run as the Cubs jumped up to a 5–0 lead in the fifth inning.
Of the four Dodgers batters to reach first base, none reached second: Andrew Toles (single, first inning), Josh Reddick (single, eighth inning), and Carlos Ruiz (Walk, ninth inning) were all out on double plays. Reddick reached on a fielding error in the second inning but was picked off at first by Hendricks. As a result, the Cubs faced the minimum numbers of batters - 27 - to complete a nine-inning major league baseball game; this was only the second time a team faced the minimum in a postseason contest (Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series was the only other occurrence).
The Dodgers' World Series drought reached 28 years with the loss. Dodger starter Clayton Kershaw could not repeat his Game 2 magic as he gave up five runs, two home runs, and was replaced in the sixth inning. Relief pitcher Kenley Jansen shut the Cubs out for three innings, but it was too little too late.
Composite line score
|Los Angeles Dodgers||0||1||1||3||3||1||0||5||3||17||39||7|
|Total attendance: 247,927 Average attendance: 49,585|
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