Cubs

Kershaw dominates Cubs as Dodgers even series

dexter-fowler-10-16-16.jpg

Kershaw dominates Cubs as Dodgers even series

Clayton Kershaw shut down all the narratives about his postseason struggles.

The three-time Cy Young winner capitalized off his first big-league save in Game 5 of the NLDS, shutting down the Cubs in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.

Behind Kershaw's seven shutout innings, the Dodgers evened the series at one game apiece with a 1-0 victory in front of 42,384 disappointed Cubs fans at Wrigley Field.

Pitching on short rest (after he threw 218 pitches in three appearances in the five-game NLDS), Kershaw gave up only two singles and a walk, striking out six.

Kershaw only needed 84 pitches, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts opted to sit his workhorse down and go to elite closer Kenley Jansen for the final six outs. 

The game's lone run came on Adrian Gonzalez's homer that just barely snuck into the bleachers in the second inning. The veteran first baseman lifted Kyle Hendricks' offering into the first row of the left-field bleachers, utilizing a wind that was blowing out for a second straight night.

Hendricks didn't have his best stuff (four walks, three hits in 5.1 innings), but limited the damage and kept the Cubs in the game.

"I didn't give in," Hendricks said. "I didn't get deep in the game like I wanted to, but at least kept us in it and gave us a chance. One swing away."

Kershaw had a no-hitter going until Javy Baez lined a 1-out single to center. Willson Contreras followed with a single up the middle, but Jason Heyward popped out to third base to end the Cubs' lone threat of the game.

The series now moves to Los Angeles with Game 3 Tuesday night.

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

The Giants' search for a successor to now-retired manager Bruce Bochy has led them to the North Side.

According to NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, the Giants are interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for their own managerial opening. San Francisco's interest is intriguing, as Venable went to high school just outside San Francisco in nearby San Rafael. His father — Max Venable — played for the Giants from 1979-83. 

Venable also interviewed for the Cubs' manager job earlier this month, telling the Chicago Sun-Times that his interest is in the "organization in general." He is one of several internal candidates for the Cubs' job, along with bench coach Mark Loretta and front office assistant David Ross.

The Cubs also interviewed Joe Girardi and are set to meet with Astros bench coach Joe Espada and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.

Former Cub Mark Prior likely to take over as Dodgers pitching coach in 2020

mark_prior.jpg
USA TODAY

Former Cub Mark Prior likely to take over as Dodgers pitching coach in 2020

Mark Prior's big-league playing career unfortunately fizzled out due to recurring injury woes, but he's making a name for himself in the coaching realm.

With Dodgers current pitching coach Rick Honeycutt transitioning into a new role, Prior is expected to takeover the position starting next season.

Cubs fans know the story of Prior's playing career all too well. The Cubs drafted him second overall in the 2001, with Prior making his MLB debut just a season later. He went on to dominate in 2003, posting an 18-6 record, 2.43 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 30 starts, a season in which he made the All-Star Game and finished third in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

However, Prior's season ended on a sour note, as he was on the mound during the Steve Bartman incident in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. Prior exited the game with a 3-1 lead, but the Cubs surrendered seven more runs that inning, eventually falling to the Marlins 8-3 before losing Game 7 the next day. 

Prior struggled to stay healthy after 2003, eventually retiring in 2013 after multiple comeback attempts. While many blame his injury-riddled career on former Cubs manager Dusty Baker, Prior does not. 

While we can only wonder what could've been with Prior to the pitcher, it's good to see him still making an impact in baseball in some fashion.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.