Cubs Clinch! Headed to World Series for first time in 71 years

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(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Chicago Cubs made history Saturday night, clinching the National League Championship to pave the way to their first World Series since 1945.

The Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field.


Next up? Game 1 of the World Series will be Tuesday against the Indians in Cleveland at 7:08 p.m. CDT.

Game 2 will be in Cleveland on Wednesday. Game 3 is in Chicago on Friday. Game 4 is Oct. 29 in Chicago. If necessary, Game 5 is in Chicago on Oct. 30, Game 6 is in Cleveland on Nov. 1 and Game 7 is in Cleveland on Nov. 2.

All of the games will air on FOX. For more information, visit m.mlb.com/postseason-schedule.



"This city deserves it so much," Anthony Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs took their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.


Clayton Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 lifetime in the postseason.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.

Coach Joe Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

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Joe Madden talks after the Cubs secure a spot in the World Series.


EMOTIONAL FANS TAKE IT ALL IN

At the historic Murphy's Rooftop bar, fans lingered long after the game, called the experience of the Cubs win "emotional" and "surreal."

Many were moved to tears as they watched their team celebrate on the field.

"You go this long and have so much frustration and so much disappointment, it's such a great experience to actually get to his point," said a fan at Murphy's.

"This means everything," one fan said. "I've been waiting since the '90s to see the Cubs in the World Series, and finally it's going to happen.

"Every dream come true, everything that a sports fan wants it to be, we finally are here," said another fan at Murphy's.

Most fans admitted there are still four more wins to go to bring home the championship, and after that the true celebration can take place.

CUBS WORLD SERIES GEAR ALREADY ON SALE
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Michelle at a store in Lincoln Park where fans are getting their World Series gear.



At Dick's Sporting Goods in Lincoln Park, fans started to trickle in to purchase World Series gear.

A father and son who attended the game came to the store to purchase the Cubs World Series hats players put on at the end of the game.

"It was surreal, it was absolutely surreal, my mind flashed on a thousand different Cub's game I've been to over the years," said one fan. "It brought me to tears multiple times throughout the game."

His son said the moment could not have been more special shared with anyone else.

"It wouldn't have been as special sharing it with anyone else," the son said. "He's the biggest Cubs fan I know, he's taught me how to be a Cubs fan, I was sharing the moment with the right guy - my dad."

NICE DAY FOR A WRIGLEY WEDDING

A Cubs-loving couple hit a scheduling home run when they planned their wedding in front of Wrigley Field months ago.



A Cubs-loving couple hit a scheduling home run when they planned their wedding months ago in front of Wrigley Field for Saturday.

Sean and Laura Hileman, of Edwardsville, Ill., got married early Saturday in front of the iconic marquee. The newlyweds never imagined that their happy day could coincide with the Cubs possibly securing their first trip to the World Series in over 70 years.

FOUR-LEGGED FANS CHEER ON THE CUBS
WATCH: Accordionist plays Cubs ode
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CUBS POLKA! Felicia Carparelli, a Lakeview accordionist, performs an ode to the Cubbies!

FLASHBACKS TO 2003

As the game kicked off, Cubs fans were nervous to repeat history. In 2003, the Cubs were up 3-2 in the NLCS against the Florida Marlins.

The Cubs were winning Game 6 when a foul ball was caught by the now-infamous fan Steve Bartman and pretty soon after that the Cubs unraveled. There's another curse that superstitious Cubs fans are trying to reverse this season: that of the goat that was not allowed into Wrigley Field during the World Series the last time the Cubs made it that far. However, many fans say that they do not believe in curses.

WATCH: SECURITY WAS BEEFED UP AHEAD OF THE GAME
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Security was beefed up in Chicago's Wrigleyville area ahead of Game 6.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
sportsChicago CubsLos Angeles Dodgersu.s. & worldwrigley fieldCaliforniaChicago - Wrigleyville
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