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  • Things might be looking up for Lakers, but it will be a long climb

    Things might be looking up for Lakers, but it will be a long climb

    This wasn’t how the Lakers had hoped to launch their new season and resume their long climb back toward respectability, not the way they hoped to welcome Lonzo Ball to the NBA. After too many interminable and abominable marches toward the draft lottery, the Lakers have incentive to win again, and...

  • Finally, the Dodgers have the look of a World Series team

    Finally, the Dodgers have the look of a World Series team

    So this is what a Dodgers World Series team looks like. A couple of dozen players are climbing on each other in a tiny concrete bunker under ancient Wrigley Field, clutching with hugs and headlocks, spraying reddened faces with champagne and beer, drinking from a glittering trophy like it was a...

  • Andrew Friedman’s bold moves paid off for the National League champion Dodgers

    Andrew Friedman’s bold moves paid off for the National League champion Dodgers

    The on-field segment of their postgame celebration concluded, the Dodgers marched down a set of concrete steps leading to an underground weight room, where cases of champagne and beer waited for them. As the players walked by, their names were chanted by a crowd of Dodgers fans behind their bench....

  • Dodgers' Enrique Hernandez is the utility man of the hour

    Dodgers' Enrique Hernandez is the utility man of the hour

    The champagne was primed to pop. The beer was ready to spill. The chant was not for Clayton Kershaw or Justin Turner or Cody Bellinger or Kenley Jansen. The Dodgers had held their wildness in check for a few minutes, minding a trophy presentation. Then it was time to party, and the man the players...

  • Lakers begin the Lonzo Ball era with lopsided loss to the Clippers

    Lakers begin the Lonzo Ball era with lopsided loss to the Clippers

    At the intersection of the city’s two great sports loves stood a man with one foot in each realm. Magic Johnson waited in a tunnel painted purple and gold, his eyes fixated on a video board dangling from the ceiling of Staples Center playing Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. He...

  • The Dodgers' brain trust has its own version of 'Moneyball'

    The Dodgers' brain trust has its own version of 'Moneyball'

    There is no shortage of ways to explain the Dodgers’ success this season, but Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon came up with a new one Wednesday. “Their yin and their yang,” Maddon said. That was Maddon’s way of saluting the Dodgers’ depth and preparation, and he used an adjective that might have...

  • Dodgers Dugout: Andre Ethier is there when the Dodgers need him

    Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell. I’m afraid this all may be a dream, so please don’t wake me. Game 3 review Never since 1988 have the Dodgers been this close to the World Series. They’ve been in the NLCS since then, but they’ve never won three games...

  • Dodgers' bulletproof bullpen finally allows hits

    Dodgers' bulletproof bullpen finally allows hits

    Alex Avila, a backup catcher, succeeded Tuesday where 31 consecutive Cubs had failed. He got a hit off a Dodgers relief pitcher. Dodger relievers had retired 29 out of the 31 batters they faced in the National League Championship Series before Avila lined a single off Ross Stripling leading off...

  • Old hand Andre Ethier gets first start, and doesn't waste opportunity

    Old hand Andre Ethier gets first start, and doesn't waste opportunity

    Andre Ethier waited six months for this, seven months, really, if you count the end of spring training. The monotonous therapy sessions, the periods of despondence and frustration, Ethier endured in the unlikely chance he could live the night he lived Tuesday at Wrigley Field. In the first at-bat...

  • Dodgers aren’t showing any shortcomings even without Corey Seager

    Dodgers aren’t showing any shortcomings even without Corey Seager

    Corey who? On the morning of the opener of the National League Championship Series, the Dodgers announced that All-Star shortstop Corey Seager would not play because of injury. Cubs pitcher Jon Lester likened the impact on the Dodgers to how the Cubs might have been hurt had they lost Kris Bryant,...

  • It hasn’t felt this real for Dodgers in 29 seasons

    It hasn’t felt this real for Dodgers in 29 seasons

    The Dodgers are so close to the World Series, you can hear it coming. It crept up with the clank of Chris Taylor’s home run off a center-field roof. It slipped nearer with the bang of Andre Ethier’s home run off a right-field scoreboard. Then, finally, on a classically fall Tuesday night, it descended...

  • Dodgers one win away from first World Series since 1988

    Dodgers one win away from first World Series since 1988

    When his eyes registered the location of the last pitch, Yu Darvish stepped outside the batter’s box. He stared at the umpire to be sure. It was a fastball from Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr. like the three pitches before it, and it was not a strike, like the three before it. In October, good luck...

  • Alex Wood ready to go in Game 4 on three weeks' rest

    Alex Wood ready to go in Game 4 on three weeks' rest

    The last time Alex Wood pitched in a game that counted, the Angels still were alive in the race for a playoff berth. It has been a while. When the Dodgers hand him the ball for Game 4 of the National League Championship Series Wednesday, Wood will be working on three weeks of rest. No pressure,...

  • Vin Scully talks about Justin Turner's home run, and watching rather than working the playoffs

    Vin Scully talks about Justin Turner's home run, and watching rather than working the playoffs

    In this first season of the rest of his life, Vin Scully watched the ball take flight on television Sunday night, from the comfort of his home. The center fielder went back, back, back … No, of course not. Scully never did resort to a signature line, or a sickly sweet phrase he had dreamed up a...

  • The Dodgers' bullpen has the confidence to be dangerous for the Cubs

    The Dodgers' bullpen has the confidence to be dangerous for the Cubs

    A baseball team must secure at least 27 outs to win a game, and so Dodgers manager Dave Roberts fills the hours before each postseason contest contemplating a countdown. He consults with the coaching staff and the analysts from the front office. He gauges the readiness of various relievers. The...

  • Back-to-back games for Kenta Maeda? No problem, Dodgers say

    Back-to-back games for Kenta Maeda? No problem, Dodgers say

    After recording three outs in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, Kenta Maeda did not pitch for the Dodgers on Sunday night. He was warming up as Justin Turner’s game-winning homer cleared the center-field fence. Maeda has never been a reliever before this postseason, but manager...

  • Dodgers Dugout: Justin Turner is taking his place among postseason legends

    Dodgers Dugout: Justin Turner is taking his place among postseason legends

    Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell. This Justin Turner guy may just have a future in this game. Game 2 review OHMIGOSH THAT WAS INCREDIBLE! WHERE’S MY ASTHMA INHALER? OK, OK. I’ve got to calm down. What better way to celebrate the 29th anniversary...

  • Joe Maddon's call for John Lackey to relieve was Cubs' downfall

    Joe Maddon's call for John Lackey to relieve was Cubs' downfall

    If the Chicago Cubs are America’s cuddly little team, then Joe Maddon is America’s cuddly little manager, an affable baseball lifer who is well-read and has a wide range of interests that extend far beyond the foul lines. Well, sorry, America, but your man blew it. And to think it was because Maddon...

  • Dodgers unleash Kenley Jansen and a successful supporting cast of relievers

    Dodgers unleash Kenley Jansen and a successful supporting cast of relievers

    Tony La Russa gets the credit, or the blame, for the invention of the modern bullpen — the closer, the setup men, the matchups against left-handers and right-handers. But, as a new generation of baseball minds reinvents bullpen use, La Russa also should be remembered for a maxim the Dodgers are...

  • On anniversary of Gibson's blast, it's a Turner classic in Game 2 for Dodgers

    On anniversary of Gibson's blast, it's a Turner classic in Game 2 for Dodgers

    The ball soared into the black sky, carried through the thick night air, dropped gently over the center-field fence, and the guy with the flowing red hair and bushy beard stuck out his thick arms as if they were wings. Today, all of Los Angeles is flying with him. Happy anniversary, Kirk Gibson....

  • With bat flips and fly balls, Yasiel Puig puts on a swaggering Game 1 show

    With bat flips and fly balls, Yasiel Puig puts on a swaggering Game 1 show

    He ran out of the dugout during introductions with his tongue wagging playfully out of his mouth. He took off his cap to reveal lightning bolts shaved into his haircut. Then, a couple of hours later, with a bat flip and a chest thump and roars that made Dodger Stadium literally shake, the Yasiel...

  • It was a decidedly un-Kershaw-like finish to Game 1

    It was a decidedly un-Kershaw-like finish to Game 1

    This will take some getting used to, the sight of Clayton Kershaw replaced in the fifth inning of a game he started. That was the scene Saturday night in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series and that could be the scene again at Dodger Stadium later this month. Season after season of...

  • Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager out of NLCS because of back injury; Charlie Culberson starts Game 1

    Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager out of NLCS because of back injury; Charlie Culberson starts Game 1

    Corey Seager sat on a podium, without a smile, and with the uncomfortable look of someone who would prefer to be anywhere but there. The National League Championship Series was about to start, and Seager had to discuss the injury that meant the series would go on without him. “This sucks,” Seager...

  • Joc Pederson makes Dodgers' NLCS roster, and he might even start

    Joc Pederson makes Dodgers' NLCS roster, and he might even start

    Joc Pederson recorded four hits in September. So it was no surprise that the Dodgers left him off the 25-man roster in the National League division series against Arizona. But in the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs, Pederson not only made the roster, he might start in center field...

  • Dodgers leave star shortstop Corey Seager off NLCS roster

    Dodgers leave star shortstop Corey Seager off NLCS roster

    Sidelined with an injured back, Corey Seager is not on the Dodgers 25-man roster for the National League Championship Series against the Cubs. Seager injured his back on a slide in Game 3 of the first round against Arizona. He did not participate in workouts this week, but manager Dave Roberts...

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