Vin Scully to go one more year; Plaschke, sadly, not going anywhere

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A lot of folks thought Vin Scully was going to retire after this season, but he’s got one more in him, he says:

Vin Scully, thought to be retiring this winter after 60 seasons,
said this week he is planning on coming back for one more summer.
Scully, 81, said if he continues to feel well he will work past his
landmark year and retire after the 2010 season.

“God willing, I will probably come back for one more year,” Scully
said in a phone interview. “At this moment, my health is excellent, and
I’m leaning toward one more year.”

And then retire?

“Yes, that makes sense,” he said.

The L.A. Times’ Bill Plaschke, of course, gets this all wrong,
going on about how the Dodgers need to take the next 15 months to think
really, really hard and come up with some sort of special, spectacular
sendoff. After describing a tribute video the team has been playing on
the scoreboard and how Scully himself, while honored, felt rather
uncomfortable with the whole thing, Plaschke says this:

This was the Dodgers’ first attempt at a farewell, and it was a good
one, but now it’s time to get serious. If they could build a Mannywood
in a couple of weeks, surely they can use the next few months to figure
out a way to permanently honor Scully in a way that no Dodger has been
honored before . . .

. . . Turn this Dodgers monument into a statue. Sculpt Scully
sitting in a booth, with a microphone and headsets and his ever-present
scorebook. Fill the desk with dozens of ports where fans can plug in
headphones and listen to tapes of Scully’s calls. What greater tribute
than having Dodgers fans gathered at his feet as one, listening to his
voice forever? Place the sculpture just beyond the Dodger Stadium
center-field fence, in the area currently populated by autograph booths
and fans chasing batting practice fly balls. Lay down some grass like
they do at Yankee Stadium for the center-field Monument Park. Call it

Apart from the fact that Scully himself is probably reading that this
morning and spitting coffee across the table due to just how
horrifyingly opposed it is to everything he’s ever stood for as a
broadcaster, it’s a fabulous idea.

The Cubs clinch World Series berth with NLCS Game 6 win

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  The Chicago Cubs celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 in game six of the National League Championship Series to advance to the World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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After 71 years, the Cubs are headed back to the Fall Classic.

The dominance with which Clayton Kershaw attacked the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS was nonexistent in Game 6 as the Dodgers’ ace loaded the bases to start the first inning and scattered five extra bases and five runs over five frames. By the time Dave Roberts pulled his starter in the sixth inning, Kershaw was sitting on a Game Score of 33, the lowest he’s mustered since the start of the 2015 season. Only one of his strikes came via curveball, and whether he was having difficulty locating his off-speed stuff or felt more confident with the fastball-slider combo, it was the fewest curves he’d seen land for strikes all year (per David Adler).

Where the Dodgers were able to give Kershaw the edge in Game 2, they found themselves powerless against opposing hurler Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks turned out 7 1/3 scoreless frames with two hits and six strikeouts, preserving the Cubs’ second shutout of the postseason and the first since they bested the Giants in Game 1 of the NLDS. After his 1-0 loss to the Dodgers early in the NLCS, seeing the MLB ERA leader turn out a gem was a relief for the Cubs, especially one as spectacular as an 88-pitch two-hitter.

With Hendricks effectively stymieing the Dodgers’ best attempts to get on base, the Cubs played to their strengths at the plate. Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist cleared the bases in the first inning for a two-run lead, followed by a Dexter Fowler RBI single in the second. Willson Contreras came through in the fourth inning for the Cubs, lifting an 87 m.p.h. slider to left field for his first home run of October, while Anthony Rizzo hit his second homer of the postseason on a 1-1 fastball in the fifth.

Neither bullpen allowed a single run from the sixth inning onward. Dodgers’ right-hander Kenley Jansen took the ball from Kershaw in the sixth, scattering four strikeouts over three innings and denying the Cubs so much as a single baserunner through the end of the game. Aroldis Chapman, meanwhile, issued just one walk in 1 1/3 scoreless frames, inducing a Yasiel Puig double play to clinch the Cubs’ 17th franchise pennant.

With the win, the Cubs will face off against the Indians in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at 8 PM EDT. And, in case you needed a reminder:

Video: Willson Contreras blasts first postseason home run off of Kershaw

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game six of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Getty Images

So much for Clayton Kershaw posing a threat tonight. The Cubs got their knocks in early and often against the Dodgers’ ace during Game 6 of the NLCS, racking up three runs in the first three innings before rookie catcher Willson Contreras unleashed his first postseason home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.

According to’s Phil Rogers, Contreras became the 10th Cub to homer in the 2016 playoffs, following big hits by Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero, David Ross, Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Travis Wood, and Javier Baez. Of the ten home run hitters, Contreras joins catchers David Ross and Miguel Montero as yet another backstop capable of driving the long ball (and, less importantly, as another player capable of a sweet, sweet bat flip).

Rizzo, whose last homer was a deep drive to right field off of Los Angeles right-hander Pedro Baez in Game 4 of the NLCS, piled on Kershaw’s five-run outing with another home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kershaw called it a night after five frames, and the Cubs currently lead the Dodgers 5-0 in the sixth inning.