And That Happened: Thursday's scores and highlights

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Phillies 2, Giants 1: Fast Eddie beats Vincent. Or if you
prefer, Jheri Curl beats Mullet. OK, fine, so Lincecum’s isn’t really a
mullet. Maybe if it was he wouldn’t have given up that double to Ryan
Howard. Or did you not think of that?

White Sox 5, Cubs 0: Nothing like interleague play in September!
The Cubs struck out 9 times against six hits. I’m assuming that at this
point Lou is marking off the days until October 4th on his calendar
with little X’s.

Marlins 8, Braves 3: This clubhouse disarray business seems to
be working well for the Marlins: Hanley Ramirez gets a key pinch-hit
single, Dan Uggla doesn’t accost his team’s best player. Hell, it’s
paradise. The real key to this game, though, was Kris Medlen: middle
reliever. Though as Mac notes, this one is probably on Bobby for going to him on three straight nights.

Yankees 10, Blue Jays 5: When a team can throw a poo-poo platter
consisting of Gaudin, Aceves, Robertson, Bruney, Marte at you and still
cruise, you have to start thinking “team of destiny.” Posada: 4-5, 2B,
HR, 4 RBI. Somebody wake me when New York loses, because this is
getting monotonous.

Red Sox 6, Rays 3: This is not the same David Price the Red Sox
remember from last year’s playoffs (5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER). Not the same
Rays either. They’re basically over for the year, but they’ll be back.

Mets 8, Rockies 3: Wright went 3-for-4 in his second start since
coming off the 15-day disabled list. More importantly, he ditched the
big ass helmet. “It’s just not comfortable,” Wright said of the new
helmet that will be required in the minors next season. “The last thing
I need to worry about in the box is to try to shove it on my head. I
will stay with the one I used today.” I’m sure the fact that everyone
told him that he looked like a total tool in it had nothing to do with

Tigers 4, Indians 3: Magglio Ordonez batted twice after entering
the game as a pinch hitter, so we can assume that either (a) the Tigers
have decided that they’re going to let him trigger his option; or (b) a
guy with a lead pipe is going to be waiting for him in the St. Pete
Marriott sometime this weekend.

Brewers 4, Cardinals 3: Smoltz wasn’t battered or anything, but
he did lose, proving that, at least for one afternoon, the NL isn’t the
equivalent of the old American Association. Casey McGehee hit a two run
homer, and drove in nine of the Brewers’ 13 runs in the series.

Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 2: Thanks to Jon Garland (two earned
runs on five hits over seven) and Ron Belliard (2-3, 3 RBII) Ned
Colletti probably went to bed feeling pretty proud of himself.

Mariners 7, Athletics 4: Two run homers from Bill Hall, Franklin
Gutierrez and Kenji Johjima power the M’s. Game story: “The Mariners
were to take public transportation on the BART train to and from the
games for the rest of the series with the Bay Bridge connecting San
Francisco and Oakland closed for work all weekend.” There aren’t any
hotels in Oakland? What’s wrong with this place?

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.