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Chris Taylor, playing short in place of Corey Seager, has a home run, a triple and two RBIs and the Cubs' bullpen falls apart again as the Dodgers take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven NLCS.

The Dodgers are one win away from appearing in their first World Series since 1988.


Dodgers take a commanding 3-0 NLCS lead with 6-1 win over Cubs

Kenley Jansen comes in to pop out one batter and strike out two to preserve the Dodgers' 6-1 win over the Cubs.

The Dodgers are still undefeated in postseason play.

They are now one game away from appearing in their first World Series since 1988.

Dodgers are three outs away from a 3-0 NLCS lead

Brandon Morrow now pitching. Charlie Culberson at shortstop. Logan Forsythe at second. Chris Taylor to center. Enrique Hernandez to left. Top of the eighth, 6-1 Dodgers.

Ben Zobrist grounded to second.

Kyle Schwarber walked.

Kris Bryant flied to left.

Anthony Rizzo struck out swinging.

 

 

Cubs look like they need a doctor, so here's one for them

Michael and Arielle Schwartz (Mark Potts / Los Angeles Times)
Michael and Arielle Schwartz (Mark Potts / Los Angeles Times)

Michael Schwartz, an orthopedic surgeon from Long Island, NY, performed two surgeries Tuesday morning -- repairing a shoulder and a knee -- then rushed to LaGuardia Airport for a 2:15 p.m. flight.

He had to get to Wrigley Field. His Dodgers were playing.

He got off the plane, picked up his daughter from Northwestern University, where she's studying journalism, gave her a hug and made it to the ballpark in time for batting practice.

He'll fly right back out at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday and be back in the operating room Thursday.

But on Tuesday? He's all about the Boys in Blue. He wore a Kirk Gibson jersey, and his 20-year-old daughter, Arielle, wore one with Sandy Koufax's name.

Schwartz, 51, has been a Dodgers fan since he was a kid. His dad was a huge Brooklyn Dodgers fan and passed down the love.

Schwartz as a child would write to the team every year and send a few dollars, asking for a Dodgers yearbook.

"It was the highlight of my life when Kirk Gibson hit the home run," he said of the 1988 World Series-winning homer against the Oakland Athletics that means so much to so many.

"I was a first-year medical student in the fall of '88. I was in my dorm room at NYU Medical School, watching the game by myself, and I'm sure there was no one else in New York City watching that game except for me."

He got the chills when he watched Justin Turner's walk-off home run Sunday, on the 29th anniversary of Gibson's hit. 

Schwartz considers himself a diehard fan.

Even though his dad was the original family Dodger fan, the elder Schwartz -- after his Dodgers moved to Los Angeles -- started working as an electrician at Shea Stadium. He became, and remains, a New York Mets fan. 

Dodgers take 6-1 lead in top of eighth

Mike Montgomery pitching.

Logan Forsythe, batting for Utley, walked.

Austin Barnes singled to right, Forsythe to second.

Charlie Culberson, batting for Pederson, was at tbe plate when Montgomery unleashed a wild pitch, moving the runners to second and third, no one out.

Culberson swung and missed at strike three, but Contreras got crossed up on the pitch and missed it. The ball bounced all the way into the dugout, allowing Forsythe to score. Culberson made it to first and Barnes moved to third. Still no one out.

Kyle Farmer, batting for the pitcher, flied to center, Barnes scoring. 6-1 Dodgers.

Chris Taylor forced Culberson at second.

Cody Bellinger struck out swinging.

 

 

Cubs go down quietly in seventh

Yu Darvish still pitching for the Dodgers in the bottom of the seventh.

Addison Russell struck out swinging. Seven strikeouts for Darvish.

And that's it for Darvish. The Dodgers got him for the postseason, and he is giving them more than they could have expected.

Tony Watson is now pitching.

Javier Baez popped to first.

Ian Happ struck out swinging.

 

 

Dodgers don't score in top of seventh, lead 4-1

Pedro Strop pitching. Ian Happ in center. Top of seventh.

Cody Bellinger hit a fly ball to deep center. Happ had it, then bumped into the wall and dropped it. Bellinger safe at second on the error.

Justin Turner walked.

Yasiel Puig grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, Bellinger to third.

Andre Ethier grounded to second. Strop escapes the jam.

 

 

Yu Darvish shuts Cubs down again in sixth inning

Anthony Rizzo singled sharply to right.

Willson Contreras struck out looking.

Jon Jay grounded into a 6-3 double play.

 

Yu Darvish celebrates after turning a double play to end the inning. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Yu Darvish celebrates after turning a double play to end the inning. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Palma family, Dodgers fans all, celebrate an anniversary in style

The Palma family: Monique, Natalie, Amanda, Yolanda and Jose. (Mark Potts / Los Angeles Times)
The Palma family: Monique, Natalie, Amanda, Yolanda and Jose. (Mark Potts / Los Angeles Times)

Jose and Yolanda Palma and their three daughters stood in one of the crowded Wrigley Field aisles, all decked out in Dodgers gear, all beaming as they got high fives from other Dodgers fans. 

The couple, from Ontario, Calif., celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary over the weekend, and their daughters got them Game 3 tickets as a gift.

Yolanda clutched a pink Animal Muppet doll, whose crazy hair has been compared to that of Dodgers ginger Justin Turner, her favorite player. Animal wore a tiny Dodgers jersey and hat.

For her, it was a bucket list trip. She'd always wanted to see a game at the 103-year-old Wrigley Field.

"I've always wanted to come here," she said.

"I like old ballparks," said Jose. "I like the names Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium."

He hates the corporate names like Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.

"There's history here," he said. "Where else can you go like that, here and Dodger Stadium."

He looked at his wife and smiled. He figured that since they've now been to the third-oldest Major League Baseball park (Dodger Stadium) and second-oldest (Wrigley Field), they should visit the oldest, Fenway Park in Boston.

Jose, 52, has been a Dodgers fan his whole life. This year, he said, feels different. The team has a good chemistry, he said.

"It feels like they're going to win," he said.

Someone in Dodgers gear walked past the family and started high-fiving them.

"Looking good, everyone!" he shouted.

A Cubs fan passed. 

"Remember," he said to the Palmas, "this is the Friendly Confines!"

The couple's oldest daughter, Monique Palma, 33, of Pasadena, said she has gone to many ballparks and always sees a bunch of Dodger fans: in San Diego, San Francisco, Phoenix, Miami, even Philadelphia, where she lived for a bit.

"Any game, we take over the stadium, and you get looks, like, YOU'RE here?" she said, laughing. 

Another Dodger fan passed.

"3 and 0 tonight!" he shouted at them, hoping the Dodgers take that kind of series lead. "

Jose beamed and shouted back.

"They're gonna win again!"

Dodgers take 4-1 lead on bases-loaded walk

Yu Darvish tosses his bat after walking with the bases loaded. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Yu Darvish tosses his bat after walking with the bases loaded. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Top of the sixth.

Yasiel Puig hit a grounder to third that Kris Bryant booted for and error.

Andre Ethier singled to center. Runners on first and second, no one out.

Joe Maddon comes out and replaces Hendricks with Carl Edwards Jr. 

Chase Utley hit a high bouncer to the pitcher, whose only play was to first. Second and third, one out.

Austin Barnes walked, loading the bases for Joc Pederson.

Pederson flied to medium right,  but not deep enough to score Puig from third. 

Yu Darvish walked on four pitches, forcing in a run.

Chris Taylor struck out on three pitches.

 

 

 

Dodgers lead, 3-1, after five innings

Ben Zobrist struck out swinging.

Kyle Schwarber responsible for the Cubs only run so far with a homer in the first, grounded to first.

Kris Bryant popped to the catcher, but the wind caught it and Barnes overran it. The ball dropped foul. He then flied to left.

 

Dodgers take 3-1 lead on Chris Taylor's triple

Chris Taylor sticks his tongue out as he celebrates his RBI triple. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Chris Taylor sticks his tongue out as he celebrates his RBI triple. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Chris Taylor is tagged out a the plate by Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Chris Taylor is tagged out a the plate by Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

For the top of the fifth, Joc Pederson hit a leadoff double into the right-field corner.

Yu Darvish bunted, but first baseman Anthony Rizzo covered it on the third-base side and prevented Pederson from moving up. Darvish was out at first,

Chris Taylor tripled to left, scoring Pederson. No one told cut-off man Addison Russel that Taylor was going to third, so the throw was late.

With the infield in, Cody Bellinger grounded to first. Taylor was thrown out at home. Odd choice to go home there.

Justin Turner flied to right.

 

Watch Chris Taylor's solo homer

Cubs strand two in bottom of the fourth

Willson Contreras tried to bunt his way on, but bunted it to Darvish, who threw him out. With the wind blowing out, any time a Cub wants to bunt if fine by me.

Jon Jay grounded to short.

Addison Russell hit a roller down the line. Justin Turner let it roll but it wouldn't go foul.

Jason Heyward walked. Looked like they pitched around him because the pitcher is coming up.

Kyle Hendricks struck out swinging.

 

 

Dodgers go down quietly in top of fourth

Yasiel Puig singled to left.

Andre Ethier strikes out swinging.

Chase Utley strikes out swinging.

Austin Barnes hit a flare to shallow left, Addison Russell ran back and caught it.

I guess we have to hear from Cubs fans too

Friends and Cubs fans Blake Taylor, Ben Reyes, Bob Laramie and Ken Brown (Hailey Branson-Potts / Los Angeles Times)
Friends and Cubs fans Blake Taylor, Ben Reyes, Bob Laramie and Ken Brown (Hailey Branson-Potts / Los Angeles Times)

Ken Brown, a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan from Bartlett, Ill., watched his team playing the Dodgers on TV over the weekend, but when it cut to the crowd, there was a problem: He couldn't tell the Cubs fans from the Dodgers fans.

"Everyone was in blue!" he said, laughing, as he and a group of friends looked at a display of Cubs World Series items, like champagne bottles from their winning celebration. "The colors are too similar! But there are Cubs fans everywhere."

Brown, a 57-year-old photographer, said both team seem to have fans all over the place and that he was excited to be watching two iconic baseball clubs squaring off in what has become a bit of a Postseason rivalry. 

Indeed, there are many Dodger fans at Game 3 of the National League Championship Series in Chicago. Likewise, over the weekend at Dodger Stadium, legions of Cubs fans roared every time their team made a good play.

Brown said he's been to Dodger Stadium twice. He grew up watching baseball games on WGN-TV and loved hearing Vin Scully calling games, seeing the Hollywood sign in the distant shots. 

When he visited the Dodger Stadium for the first time and heard recordings of Vin Scully doing announcements: "Tingles."

Blake Taylor, a 29-year-old pilot from Chicago and a friend of Brown, said he was hoping for a come-from-behind Cubs series win, just like last year.

"We're at home," he said. "I'm feeling very, very optimistic."

Asked about the Cubs trailing 0-2 in the series, Brown laughed.

"We're Cubs fans," he said. "We're used to this."

Dodgers maintain 2-1 lead through three innings

Ben Zobrist grounded to second.

Kyle Schwarber hit a shot to first, but Bellinger made a great grab and beat Schwarber to the bag for the out.

Kris Bryant singled to shallow center. Looked like Pederson got a late jump.

Anthoney Rizzo grounded into the shift, and Turner, moved over to play short right, threw him out at first.

Watch Andre Ethier's solo home run

Dodgers fans stick together in Wrigley Field

Alfred Rodriguez shakes hands with Javier Rojas Jr. as Javier Rojas Sr. looks on (Hailey Branson-Potts)
Alfred Rodriguez shakes hands with Javier Rojas Jr. as Javier Rojas Sr. looks on (Hailey Branson-Potts)

Javier Rojas Sr. has lived in Chicago for more than 20 years but fiercely clings to something from his native Southern California: his love of the Dodgers.

Rojas was 15 years old, working at a gas station in Brea during the final Dodgers' game of the 1989 World Series. The game played on TV. He held a wad of cash in his hands, and when Kirk Gibson hit the winning home run, he flung his arms to the sky, cash flying everywhere. He'll never forget that, he said, smiling at the thought.

Rojas and his son, 19-year-old son, Javier Jr., who was born and raised in Chicago, stood outside Wrigley Field on Tuesday in white Dodgers jerseys with ROJAS stitched on the back.

Wrigley Field feels like a home park to Rojas Jr., despite him being a Dodger fan. He knows all the good spots to get autographs and comes often.

But he said this year feels like it belongs to the Dodgers, he said.

"It's our year to get the W," he said.

Rojas Sr. has been to the ballparks in Detroit and Milwaukee. Lots of Cubs games. Lots of Chicago White Sox games. Each one, he said, has Dodger Blue in the crowd.

"We're pumped up," he said. "Everywhere, every stadium, there's lots of Dodgers fans," he said. He loves meeting them.

Almost on cue, Alfred Rodriguez, 45, of Highland Park walked up in a Dodgers jersey and shook the father and son's hand.

"We gotta stick together, right?" Rodriguez said. 

Rodriguez works as a truck driver for movie studios and had a few days off, and he knew he had to come to the game. He's gotten some friendly razzing from Cubs fans.

"They say, 'I'm sorry you had to come all this way to see them lose,'" he said. 

But he was feeling good with the Dodgers 2-0 series lead.

Rodriguez grew up in Highland Park, and his dad would drop him off on Stadium Way so he could go watch games. All his friends in the neighborhood loved baseball.

The new friends shook hands and parted ways, wishing their Dodgers good luck. 

Dodgers take 2-1 lead on Chris Taylor's homer in top of third

Yu Darvish struck out looking.

Chris Taylor homered to center, and the Wrigley Field stands are eerily quiet.

Cody Bellinger flied to left.

Justin Turner grounded to short. 2-1 Dodgers after the top of the third.

 

Cubs go down quietly in bottom of second

Addison Russell popped to first.

Jason Heyward flied to right.

Kyle Hendricks struck out swinging. Good inning for Darvish.

 

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