Giants

Dodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to reach 2017 World Series

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USATSI

Dodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to reach 2017 World Series

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO -- Enrique Hernandez put a Hollywood ending on an LA story three decades in the making.

Fueled by Hernandez's home run trilogy, Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers are finally going to the World Series.

Hernandez homered three times and drove in seven runs, Kershaw breezed through six crisp innings and Los Angeles ended the Chicago Cubs' title defense with an 11-1 victory in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series on Thursday night.

"It feels good to hear World Series," Kershaw said. "It's been a long time coming for this team."

After years of playoff heartache, there was just no stopping this group of Dodgers. With Kershaw firing away at the top of a deep pitching staff and Justin Turner anchoring a tough lineup, one of baseball's most storied franchises captured its first pennant since Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda managed Los Angeles to its last championship in 1988.

The Dodgers will host the New York Yankees or Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night. The Yankees have a 3-2 lead in the ALCS heading into Game 6 at Houston on Friday night, so one more New York win would set up another chapter in an old October rivalry between the Yankees and Dodgers.

The Dodgers made the playoffs eight times in the previous 13 seasons and came up short each time, often with Kershaw shouldering much of the blame. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner took the loss when Los Angeles was eliminated by the Cubs in Game 6 of last year's NLCS at Wrigley Field.

He was just OK in his first two starts in this year's postseason, but Los Angeles' loaded lineup picked him up each time. Backed by Hernandez's powerful show in Chicago, Kershaw turned in an efficient three-hit performance with five strikeouts in his sixth career playoff win - matching Burt Hooton for the franchise record.

When Kenley Jansen retired Willson Contreras on a liner to shortstop for the final out, the party was on. The Dodgers poured out of the dugout and mobbed their dominant closer near the mound, and a small, but vocal group of Los Angeles fans gathered behind the visitor's dugout and chanted "Let's go Dodgers! Let's go Dodgers!"

Down on the Farm: Giants rising prospect Shaun Anderson makes Triple-A debut

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AP

Down on the Farm: Giants rising prospect Shaun Anderson makes Triple-A debut

In the land of I Want It Now, for some godforsaken reason we’re born to grade things the moment they happen. For sports, this is especially true with trades.

Nearly one year ago on July 26, 2017, the Giants received right-handed pitchers Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos from the Red Sox in exchange for infielder Eduardo Nunez. And on Thursday night, Anderson made his Triple-A debut for the Sacramento River Cats. 

Anderson tossed five innings for the River Cats in Fresno in what would be an 8-7 loss in 10 innings to the Grizzlies. The 23-year-old allowed two runs — both on a two-run home run in his final inning of work — four hits, three walks, and impressively struck out six batters. 

Throughout his first outing in Triple-A, Anderson never ran into trouble. Only one batter reached second base, besides the home run, and that was due to a walk in the bottom of the first inning. A walk hurt him again in the fifth inning as he let the leadoff batter reach base on four balls before Antonio Nunez, the No. 9 hitter, followed with his two-run shot.

On the year, Anderson now has 99 strikeouts to 25 walks in 99 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. His 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings are up from 7.8 last season and his 2.3 walks per nine innings are slightly down from 2.4 in 2017. The long ball has hurt Anderson this season as he has already allowed 10 home runs this season to nine all of last year. 

Following Anderson in the River Cats’ loss were four pitchers who have all found time with the Giants this season. They didn’t fare as well as the prospect. 

Former top pick Tyler Beede relieved Anderson in the sixth inning, but his control issues hurt him again with two walks and only one out recorded. Pierce Johnson followed Beede and walked two without allowing a run. He also struck out five batters in 1 2/3 innings. The night to forget came for lefty Josh Osich. Up 6-3, Osich blew allowed four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and now has a 5.40 ERA. Derek Law took the loss, going 1 2/3 innings before Fresno walked it off in extra innings.

In 11 days, Anderson went from pitching in Richmond for the Flying Squirrels, to Washington D.C. for the USA All-Stars in the All-Star Futures Game, to Fresno for the River Cats. Keep your grades and enjoy the summer. What matters is Anderson’s weaving road of six different teams in two years, including representing the USA, has him right on track for San Francisco. 

 

POLL: Giants Memorable Moments -- Cain's Perfect Game vs Legend of Bumgarner is Born

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AP

POLL: Giants Memorable Moments -- Cain's Perfect Game vs Legend of Bumgarner is Born

PROGRAMMING NOTE: NBC Sports Bay Area is looking back at the Giants' 60 Memorable Moments since the franchise moved from New York to San Francisco. Tune into Giants Pregame Live at 5:30pm to see the next two moments you can vote on! Then, after the Giants and A's conclude, tune into Postgame Live to see which moment will move on.

1. Matt Cain's Perfect Game in 2012 

(From Matt Cain - Giants Pitcher from 2005 to 2017)

The Perfect Game was one of the most memorable nights of my playing career. 

I had always dreamed of throwing a no-hitter. I had come so close so many times throughout my career and in my younger years, but never had one. 

The ballpark was so electric that night. We had the TaylorMade guys out hitting golf balls. Dustin Johnson hitting monster drives into McCovey Cove, and I snuck one good swing in there as well. 

Pretty surreal day. I still think back to all the plays and pitches during that game. To have every single player on the same wave length and all realizing what was unfolding is truly something special. Everyone likes to say I pitched a perfect game and I get the credit for it but I’m in debt to everyone of the guys who made a play behind me , one that still doesn’t make sense in right center field, and I owe the most to the guy who called 125 perfect pitches behind the plate. 

Thanks to all the fans that have come up to me and shared there story about that night. So fun to hear them all!!

VS.

2. The Legend of Madison Bumgarner is Born

(From Javier Lopez, Giants pitcher 2010-2016)

I remember this night for so many reasons but first and foremost was that this kid was 21! What?! Let us all just take a moment and think about this? What were you doing at 21 and better yet what were you doing on Halloween? I can only answer for myself but I was back in college not going to class but just hanging out with all my friends planning on going to a party. I was telling stories of getting drafted that past June and how tired I had gotten from backing up so many bases because everything I threw usually ended up in the gap for extra bases but I digress. Let’s get back to it. Madison Bumgarner was pitching in a World Series game! Instead of partying or trick or treating he was carving up the Texas Rangers in their park. Eight shutout innings against one of the best lineups in the MLB at that time.

I think Bum has always had supreme confidence in his abilities. His whole career he has expected to win and will teams to win and often times that’s what happened. The Rangers had only been shutout 5 times all season long and here’s Bum going right through this lineup like a hot knife through butter. 3 singles is all they could manage. 3 measly singles off this 21 year old stud.

Fearless! I remember Aubrey Huff calling him that in a postgame interview. Aubrey had hit a 2 run shot in the third and Rookie of the Year Buster Posey would add a homer of his own off Darren O’Day but it was Bumgarner’s career in the postseason that was taking shape that night. Fearless was only one of the many words used to describe this country kid from small town North Carolina. Quiet, confident, one of a kind spectacular...all those work. I remember talking to Bum and him saying he may never get another chance to pitch in a World Series game so might as well give it my all. I laughed because I had played in 1 World Series prior to 2010 and remember how hard it was to get there and to win it. Little did I know we would go on 2 more rides to the World Series together. He would lead the charge like Washington crossing the Delaware and all of us ready to do whatever it took to reach our ultimate goal. 3 for 3 isn’t bad for anyone but I think if given another chance Bum will prove yet again why he was built for October.

VOTE HERE: