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Dodgers punch their ticket to World Series with 5-1 win over the Brewers in Game 7 of the NLCS

Dodgers Yasiel Puig celebrates with Manny Machado in locker room after capturing the NLCS against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times )
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The Dodgers are champions of the National League, downing the Milwaukee Brewers with a 5-1 victory in Game 7 at Miller Park on Saturday night. The Dodgers handled this series as they did the season: They played themselves into a corner, and then muscled their way out.

The closer

They won with a stunning, lunging, over-the-shoulder catch by Taylor in deep left field to keep the tying run from scoring in in the fifth inning.

"It was a big moment, I'm just glad I made the play."

— Dodger outfielder Chris Taylor

They won with rookie starter Walker Buehler rising up to equal the biggest moment of his young career with one allowed run in 42/3 innings, and kid Julio Urias coming out of nowhere to record the biggest out of his career.

And, of course, this emotionally swinging team couldn't have done it without Yasiel Puig putting on a nutty show with a game-clinching three-run homer in the sixth inning featuring an accompanying trot filled with a veritable Swiss Army knife of gestures.

Power game


NLCS Game 6 | Brewers 7, Dodgers 2

Brewers Ryan Braun celebrates after hitting a double which drove in a run in the second inning of game six of the National League Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The big play

Brewers Jesus Aguilar is safe with a double ahead of a tag by Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado in the 7th inning.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / Los Angeles Times)

Moments

Clockwise from top left; Right fielder Yasiel Puig canít catch Jesus Aguilar's seventh inning double. Brewers Ryan Braun drives in a run with a double in the second inning of game six. Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates with Lorenzo Cain #6 after scoring a run off of a double hit by Jesus Aguilar #24 of the Milwaukee Brewers. Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda is frustrated after throwing a wild pitch in the 7th inning. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodger pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu is rocked in the first inning.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Taunting

Brewer fans taunt Dodgers Manny Machado after he struck out in the fifth inning.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / Los Angeles Times)

Hit batter

Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood shows the look of disbelief after hitting Brewers hitter Erik Kratz in the fifth inning.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Flying out

Dodgers Justin Turner sits in dugout after flying out in the 7th inning.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / Los Angeles Times)

Clayton Kershaw’s Game 5 effort in the NLCS puts Dodgers on the verge of second straight World Series

Dodgers Yasiel Puig celebrates an RBI single in the sixth inning in Game 5 of the NLCS. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The 2018 season has not been easy on Kershaw. He hurt his shoulder. He hurt his back. Some days hurt his pride. Few games looked worse than the opening night of this series, when the Brewers disposed of him in three-plus innings. Undaunted by the worries about his pitch mix and his psyche, he roared back Wednesday, carving up Milwaukee's lineup with nine strikeouts to give the Dodgers a 3-2 series lead and deposit the team on the doorstep of another World Series.

The ace

Kershaw permitted one run and three hits. He retired the last 13 batters he faced. In the days between his outings, he sharpened his slider and unearthed his curveball. The two pitches complemented each other while protecting his fastball.

Moments

Clockwise from top left; Yasiel Puig slides safely into second base with an eighth inning double as Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Hernan Perez is late with the tag; Cody Bellinger hits a double off Brewers relief pitcher Joakim Soria in the seventh inning; Cody Bellinger dives but can't make the catch on a single by Brewers Lorenzo Cain in the 1st inning; Justin Turner is congratulated after scoring a run in the sixth inning of Game 5 of the NLCS. (Robert Gauthier / Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Game 6 on Friday at Miller Park, with Walker Buehler holstered for Game 7.

The Dodgers still require five victories to secure the trophy that this city and this franchise have craved since 1988. After a season of discontent, they are on the verge of securing back-to-back pennants for the first time since 1977-1978.

Snap

Finding form

Kershaw permitted one run and three hits as he retired the last 13 batters he faced.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

In the days between his outings, Kershaw sharpened his slider and unearthed his curveball. The two pitches complemented each other while protecting his fastball. The Brewers looked flummoxed as Kershaw trusted the curve early in the count, then defensive as he ended at-bats with sliders. To support him, the Dodgers' offense deviated from their usual strategy of slugging and slumping by making productive outs, slapping singles and running with abandon.

Early exit


NLCS Game 5 | Dodgers 5, Brewers 2

Dodgers Manny Machado scores the winning run off of Cody Bellinger's single in the 13th inning against the Brewers in Game 4 of the NLCS.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The final sequence made the ballpark shake.

Cody Bellinger stroked a two-out single into right field. Manny Machado hustled to score from second base. The ballpark shook as the Dodgers walked off with a 2-1 victory in 13 innings over the Brewers to even the series at two games apiece.

The hit

A few Dodgers sprinted to the plate to greet Machado. The majority tracked Bellinger into left field, where he was back-peddling and giddy, cherishing the first walkoff of his career.

“It’s probably a feeling you won’t forget, seeing your guys chase after you,” Bellinger said. “Honestly, I was surprised that they were throwing to me.”

Energized

Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill allowed one run in five innings, departing with six strikeouts and 71 pitches.

The Dodgers used nine pitchers. The Brewers needed seven. The Dodgers struck out 17 times. The Brewers whiffed 15 times. Both teams ran out of position players. Manager Dave Roberts told Game 6 starter Hyun-Jin Ryu to prepare to enter the game if it continued much longer.

Moments

Clockwise from top left; Dodgers Brian Dozier takes a moment after striking out in the bottom of the 10th inning; Kenley Jansen and Austin Barnes consult during the ninth inning with the score knotted at one apiece; Brewers Orlando Arcia scores their only run in front of catcher Austin Barnes in the 5th inning; Dodgers Chris Taylor makes a catch in front of Cody Bellinger in the 7th inning. (Robert Gauthier / Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Dodegrs will play Game 5 Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium with Clayton Kershaw on the mound.

Splash


NLCS Game 3 | Brewers 4, Dodgers 0

Dodgers Cody Bellinger throws his bat after popping-up with runners in scoring position against the Brewers in the 9th inning in Game 3 of the NLCS at Dodger Stadium.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Milwaukee Brewers collected a 4-0 victory in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Monday to secure a two-games-to-one advantage.

The game featured a sampling of this summer's Dodgers lowlights. Yasmani Grandal failed to smother a wild pitch that let in a run, then heard chants for backup Austin Barnes after committing a passed ball. Walker Buehler lasted until the seventh inning, in which he gave up a two-run home run to slap-hitting shortstop Orlando Arcia. The offense struck out 14 times and was hitless in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position, including a stomach-turning ninth inning.

Souvenir

The Dodgers demonstrated enough power to outlast Colorado for a sixth consecutive division title. Their brawn overwhelmed Atlanta in a division series. Yet, they find themselves two defeats away from the offseason, tilting at the windmills built by the crafty starters and smoke-throwing relievers of Milwaukee.

Regrouping

On Monday, the hitters pawed at Milwaukee starter Jhoulys Chacin, unable to time his slider across 5 1/3 innings. The Brewers bullpen mowed down the Dodgers until the ninth inning, when combustible closer Jeremy Jeffress gave up a leadoff single to Justin Turner and a double to Manny Machado. From there, the Dodgers tripped over their feet.

As the ballpark stirred, the players stumbled. Cody Bellinger hit a first-pitch popup to Arcia and bounced his bat hard enough for it to land near the mound. After Yasiel Puig walked, Grandal flailed at an 0-and-2 curveball. Brian Dozier ended

Runners stranded


NLCS Game 2 | Dodgers 4, Brewers 3

Dodgers celebrate Justin Turner's two-run home run to give the Dodgers the lead in the eighth inning in Game 2 of the NLCS at Miller Park.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Dodgers earned a 4-3 comeback victory against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday and headed back to L.A. with the National League Championship Series tied at one game apiece. Game 3 is Monday.

Big Turneround


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