There was little stopping the Los Angeles Dodgers on their way to another National League Championship Series berth. The Dodgers finished off a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the divisional series to advance to the NLCS for the third time in the last five years. And they did it the way they’ve performed all season long: With consistent pitching and hitting.
The Dodgers ended the series against the D-Backs with a 3-1 victory in Monday’s Game 3, and rookie Cody Bellinger led the way. The 22-year-old first baseman got his team on the scoreboard with an RBI groundout in the first inning and struck again during the fifth with a solo homer to put his team ahead, 2-0. Bellinger became the youngest player in Dodgers postseason history to hit a homer.
Arizona battled and cut the lead to one run, at 2-1, after a solo homer by Daniel Descalso in the fifth, but Bellinger flashed his glove with an amazing play to put an end to any rally.
The next inning, Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes added an insurance run by sending a solo homer to left field, and solid bullpen pitching closed out the series victory for Los Angeles.
Now, the Dodgers move on to play the winner of the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals NLDS series. The Cubs lead the best-of-five series (2-1) and the two teams play Game 4 on Tuesday at 5:38 p.m. Eastern.
Last season, the Dodgers defeated the Nationals in the NLDS (3-2), but lost in the NLCS to eventual the World Series champion Cubs. No matter which team wins that series, the Dodgers will have home-field advantage and figure to be the favorites to advance to the World Series.
Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule for the NLCS:
National League Championship Series
NOTE: Start times are yet to be determined.
Game #1: Saturday, October 14
Game #2: Sunday, October 15
Game #3: Tuesday, October 17
Game #4: Wednesday, October 18
Game #5 (if necessary): Thursday, October 19
Game #6 (if necessary): Saturday, October 21
Game #7 (if necessary): Sunday, October 22