NLCS Game 1: Miguel Montero’s grand slam thwarts Dodgers’ comeback.

Adrian Gonzalez slow

Cubs catcher David Ross tags out Adrian Gonzalez (23) as Gonzalez attempts to score from second base on a Kenta Maeda single in the second inning of the Cubs’ 8-4 win in Game 1 of the NLCS. (Associated Press photo)

CHICAGO — Joe Blanton hung an 0-2 slider to Miguel Montero with the bases loaded in the eighth inning and Montero made the Dodgers pay. His grand slam broke open a 3-3 tie and the Dodgers ultimately lost Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, 8-4. The box score is here. The photo gallery is here.

The Cubs’ vaunted defense set the tone early in a close game.

What’s the point of pain if the rest of us can’t find delight in the suffering of others, asks columnist Jeff Miller.

Clayton Kershaw will take the ball Sunday for the third time in six days, which he’s never done before. Some notes on that, Tommy Lasorda’s health, and the new-look NLCS roster can be found here.

Here’s what they were saying after the game:

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Clayton Kershaw will start Games 2, Rich Hill Game 3, of NLCS.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw raises his arms after recording the save in Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals on Thursday. Kershaw starts Game 2 of the NLCS on Sunday. (Getty Images)

CHICAGO — Clayton Kershaw will start Game 2 of the National League Championship Series for the Dodgers on Sunday, and Rich Hill will start Game 3 on Tuesday in Los Angeles, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced Saturday.

“It’s not complicated in the sense that if he feels good, it’s a no-brainer,” Roberts said of Kershaw.

“I feel fine. I feel good. I feel excited,” Kershaw said.
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NLDS Game 5: Dodgers pull out all the stops, advance to NLCS with 4-3 win.

Joc Pederson

Joc Pederson jumps into the dugout after hitting a home run in the seventh inning to tie Game 5 of the National League Division Series 1-1. (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — What a rush.

Clayton Kershaw‘s adrenaline got him through the final two outs, after Kenley Jansen recorded the seven before that, after Julio Urias became the youngest pitcher ever to win a postseason game, after the Dodgers overcame Max Scherzer at his peak. Four hours and 32 minutes after it all began, the Dodgers were in the National League Championship Series with a 4-3 win. Read the full game story here. The box score is here. The photo gallery is here.

Kershaw had no idea the final inning would unfold the way it did. His teammates appreciated his heroics, writes columnist Mark Whicker. Now, Kenta Maeda is in position to start Game 1 of the NLCS.

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It’s Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers) against Joe Ross (Nationals) in Game 4.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw allowed three runs in five innings in Game 1 of the National League Division Series. (Associated Press photo)

Clayton Kershaw will start a do-or-die Game 4 of the National League Division Series today against the Washington Nationals. Right-hander Joe Ross starts for Washington. The game begins at 2 p.m. Pacific Time by virtue of the Chicago Cubs’ loss to the San Francisco Giants last night.

The full story is here.

Kershaw last pitched four days ago, allowing three runs in five innings in the Dodgers’ 4-3 win in Game 1. He is no stranger to pitching on short rest in October. In fact, it’s when he’s done some of his best work:

If the Dodgers win today, they’ll play a winner-take-all Game 5 on Thursday in Washington, D.C. Rookie left-hander Julio Urias, who hasn’t pitched in the series, and veteran left-hander Rich Hill, who started Game 2 on Sunday, are the candidates to start that game. Hill would be pitching on three days’ rest, something he’s done only once in his career. That was in July 2009, when Hill allowed five runs in three innings in the Baltimore Orioles’ loss to the New York Yankees.

Dave Roberts spoke about the decision to start Kershaw today and his options for Game 5:

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Dodgers-Nationals NLDS Game 2 postponed due to rain.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Game 2 between the Dodgers and Washington Nationals has been postponed until 10 a.m. Pacific Time Sunday. The rest of the series schedule remains intact.

But because Rich Hill cannot come back to pitch a potential winner-take-all Game 5 on regular rest Thursday, the Dodgers would prefer to save Clayton Kershaw for that spot. That means Kershaw won’t pitch Tuesday’s Game 4, and the start will go to rookie Julio Urias instead.

Click here for the full story.

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