The Sports Report: Dodgers win a thrilling Game 5 to advance to the NLCS

Max Scherzer, right, hugs manager Dave Roberts after Game 5.
Max Scherzer, right, hugs manager Dave Roberts after Game 5.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Bill Plaschke on the Dodgers: The Dodgers win the series! The Dodgers win the series! The Dodgers win the series! The Dodgers win the series!


There’s a new radio call in town. There’s a new ruler of an ancient rivalry. There’s a new answer to the endless bellowing Bay Area chants of “Beat L.A ... Beat L.A.”


Take that, Bobby Thomson’s shot. Take that, Juan Marichal’s bat. Take that, Joe Morgan’s homer and Will Clark’s laugh and Barry Bonds’ pirouette.

On a harried, howling Thursday night at Oracle Park, with orange towels flapping in their faces and desperate jeers grabbing at their ankles, the Dodgers crushed memories and settled scores to win the greatest grudge match in franchise history.

In arguably the biggest game in the two teams’ 131 years of competition, the Dodgers not only beat the San Francisco Giants, but finished them, ended them, and climbed over them on their way to deep October.

In the first postseason duel in the team’s 2,540 games of competitive history, in the fifth and deciding game of the National League Division Series, the Dodgers sliced and slashed their way to a ninth-inning run to capture a 2-1 victory and series win.


Cody Bellinger delivers Dodgers to historic win over rival Giants in NLDS Game 5

Hernández: Max Scherzer closes out unusual game plan for Dodgers in an instant classic

Giants now know what it’s like to be on the wrong end of a blown checked-swing call

Dodgers’ belief in Gavin Lux paying rich dividends

Nine concerns the Dodgers should have about facing the Braves in the NLCS

Photos: Dodgers vs. Giants in NLDS Game 5

Enjoying this newsletter? Consider subscribing to the Los Angeles Times

Your support helps us deliver the news that matters most. Become a subscriber.


Nathan Fenno on the Angels: A federal judge has denied a motion by prosecutors to compel the Angels to comply with a subpoena seeking information about members of the organization possibly distributing drugs.

The decision was revealed in a filing by the Angels on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, Texas, asking Judge Terry Means to unseal his order.

“In its Motion, the government baselessly accused Angels Baseball of acting in bad faith with regards to the subpoena and the government’s investigation as a whole,” the motion signed by team attorney Ariel Neuman said. “These very public accusations by the United States Department of Justice unfairly and inappropriately maligned Angels Baseball’s reputation and brand, and attracted significant media attention.

“The Order denying the Motion to Compel makes clear that the government’s accusations were baseless and that Angels Baseball acted properly and lawfully.”


Dan Woike on the Lakers: The Lakers fans who were in their seats before the opening tip knew without any doubt three of the names they’d hear in the starting lineup.

It has been that way since the Lakers’ traded for Russell Westbrook. Health-willing, he’d hear his name called along with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But the other two spots? Not only were they open, they’d offer a serious glimpse into the team’s philosophy for the upcoming season.

In the Lakers’ final preseason game Thursday, those fans cheered for DeAndre Jordan and Kent Bazemore alongside the three stars in what coach Frank Vogel called the team’s “hybrid” lineup.

James led the Lakers with 30 points, Westbrook had 18 and Carmelo Anthony scored 15 off the bench. Davis struggled, scoring 14 points on five-for-18 shooting in the team’s 116-112 loss to the Kings.


Carmelo Anthony says Lakers’ veterans are optimistic despite their winless preseason


Helene Elliott on the Kings: Back in the Darryl Sutter coaching era — which feels like forever ago — he’d inevitably give the same succinct response each time he was asked which goaltender would start the Kings’ next game.

“Be there for the song,” Sutter would say, his way of keeping everyone guessing until players had assembled on the ice and the national anthem was playing in advance of the opening faceoff.

That same question about the starting goalie, posed Thursday to current coach Todd McLellan on the morning of the team’s 2021-22 debut, drew a more informative response. It also reflected the new era the Kings are launching. “Cal,” McLellan said, referring to having chosen Cal Petersen for the opening night honors over two-time Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Quick. Petersen made 23 saves and Anze Kopitar had a hat trick in the 6-2 win over Vegas.

The last time Quick didn’t start the Kings’ opener was the 2008-09 season. But for the Kings to move forward they can’t look back. Cup-winning holdovers Quick, Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty and Kopitar will play important roles this season, but this must become Petersen’s team and Gabe Vilardi’s team and Mikey Anderson’s and Matt Roy’s and Sean Walker’s. Maybe Arthur Kaliyev’s and Vladimir Tkachev’s team, too, after they made the roster out of training camp. Ownership will someday be shared by Quinton Byfield, who is recovering from a fractured ankle, and Jaret Anderson-Dolan, who’s starting the season in the American Hockey League.


Gary Klein on the Rams: He earns his living at SoFi Stadium, but Jalen Ramsey as of late has frequented other Los Angeles sports venues.

The Rams’ star cornerback attended two NLDS playoff games at Dodger Stadium — one with other Rams defensive backs — and said Thursday that he and teammates planned to attend the Kings’ hockey game against the Las Vegas Golden Knights at Staples Center on Thursday night.

Ramsey, a sixth-year pro, said he always wanted to organize position group outings to pro sports events. He found opportunities scarce early in his career in Jacksonville, however, and the COVID-19 pandemic eliminated any chance in Los Angeles in 2020.

“This year, let’s live a little bit,” he said. “Be careful, mask up, but live a little bit, have a little fun and build a little team chemistry.”


Jeff Miller on the Chargers: Poor execution led to the Chargers’ feeble performance in Week 2 against the rushing attack of the Dallas Cowboys.

On Sunday, the Chargers were even worse when matched against the Cleveland Browns.

After surrendering 230 yards on the ground, safety Derwin James Jr. suggested fixing the latest issue was a bit more straightforward than dissecting any Xs or O’s.

“It’s about whooping the man in front of you,” James said this week.

Entering Week 6, the Chargers ranked last in the NFL in rushing defense, giving up an average of 157.6 yards. And that high average includes limiting Las Vegas to 48 yards in Week 4.

The Chargers’ run defense looked middle of the pack in its opener at Washington. The group yielded 186 yards on the ground against Kansas City, but that was at least partially because of a specific scheme designed to thwart big plays.


Ryan Kartje on the Trojans: By the midway point of a season quickly descending into disaster, Donte Williams was willing to try anything to change USC’s football fortunes.

“I even tried to wear my white shoes and channel my inner Pete Carroll,” Williams joked this week at practice, pointing at his new footwear. “Whatever it takes right now.”

With a much-needed bye week upon USC, Williams could certainly use some of that mid-2000s magic right now.

Setting aside the decision to part ways with Clay Helton after Game 2, let’s take a look at where the Trojans stand at midpoint of the season.

Click here for the rest.


1933 — The Philadelphia Eagles play their first NFL game and suffers a 56-0 loss to the New York Giants.

1961 — Mickey Wright wins her third LPGA Championship with a rout, nine strokes ahead of Louise Suggs. Wright shoots a 3-over, 287 at the Stardust Country Club in Las Vegas for her third major title of the year and her tenth tour victory of the season.

1972 — Stan Mikita of the Chicago Blackhawks becomes the sixth NHL player with 1,000 career points. Mikita assists on Cliff Koroll’s goal in a 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues at Chicago Stadium.

1983 — The Chicago Blackhawks and the Toronto Maple Leafs score five goals in 1 minute, 24 seconds to set an NHL record for the fastest five goals by two teams. The Maple Leafs beat Chicago, 10-8.

1988 — Oklahoma rushes for an NCAA-record 768 yards, including 123 by quarterback Charles Thompson. Thompson scores three touchdowns and passes for one in the first period of a 70-24 rout of Kansas State.

1988 — Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins scores eight points — two goals and six assists — in a 9-2 win over the St. Louis Blues at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh.

1989 — Wayne Gretzky of the Kings passes Gordie Howe as the NHL’s all-time leading scorer during a 5-4 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers. Gretzky flips a backhand shot past Oilers goaltender Bill Ranford with 53 seconds remaining to tie the score and pass Howe with 1,851st point. Gretzky wins the game in overtime.

1995 — The Carolina Panthers beat the New York Jets 26-15 for their first NFL victory.

2005 — Michigan gives up a touchdown to Penn State with 53 seconds left, then marches down the field to score on a TD pass from Chad Henne to Mario Manningham with no time remaining for a 27-25 win over the eighth-ranked Nittany Lions.

2005 — USC’s Matt Leinart pushes and spins his way into the end zone with 3 seconds left to cap a chaotic finish to the top-ranked Trojans’ 28th straight victory, a back-and-forth 34-31 win over No. 9 Notre Dame.

2008 — Fabian Brunnstrom scores three goals in his NHL debut to match the league record in Dallas’ 6-4 victory over Nashville.

2009 — Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom becomes the first European defenseman and eighth overall to reach 1,000 points, assisting on two goals in the Red Wings 5-2 win over the Kings.

2012 — The Nets bring pro sports back to Brooklyn with a preseason victory, beating the Washington Wizards 98-88 in the first basketball game at the Barclays Center.

2015 — Carey Price makes 25 saves and the Montreal Canadiens make team history by starting a season with a five straight wins, the latest a 3-0 victory over the New York Rangers.

2017 — New England quarterback Tom Brady passes for 257 yards with two touchdowns in the Patriots’ 24-17 win at the New York Jets. Brady, who has 187 regular-season victories, surpasses Hall of Famer Brett Favre (186) and Peyton Manning (186) for the most regular-season victories by a starting quarterback in NFL history.

Supplied by the Associated Press

And finally

Dodgers-Giants Game 5 highlights. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.