Dodgers win NL Pennant and return to World Series

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It all started with a catch. A momentum-killing catch at that.

Ryan Braun and Christian Yelich in Game 3 of the NLCS (Claudia Gestro)

Leading 2-1 with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, it was Chris Taylor who rose to the occasion, running 85 feet to make a sliding, over-the-shoulder catch, and rob National League MVP front-runner, Christian Yelich, of what could have been a game-tying double.

“That’s going to go down as one of the biggest catches in this organization’s history, man,” said rookie starter Walker Buehler after the Dodgers’ 5-1 win over the Brewers on Saturday at Miller Park.

“I thought it was in the gap, I thought Belly had to track it down. He just cut it a bit and it went right into CT’s glove,” added Buehler.

Buehler gave up six hits but allowed only one run and fanned seven over four and two-thirds innings before manager Dave Roberts relied heavily on his relievers (Julio Urias, Ryan Madson and Kenley Jansen), including a ninth inning appearance from Clayton Kershaw to preserve the win for LA.

But it was Yasiel Puig’s three-run blast in the sixth inning off Jeremy Jeffress that silenced a roaring Milwaukee crowd and their dreams of its first Fall Classic appearance since 1982.

Puig finished the night going 3-for-4.

While the Dodgers may have made the victory look like a walk in the park, it wasn’t as easy as it looked. It was the Brewers who scored first on a Yelich homer in the opening inning on a 98 MPH fastball off Buehler.

Starter Jhoulys Chacin however, struggled on the mound for Milwaukee, giving up a two-run homer to Cody Bellinger in the second inning.

Milwaukee pulled Chacin shortly after, bringing in reliever Josh Hader. The Dodgers offense mustered just one hit off Hader, but the bats came back to life following his exit.

Walker Buehler on the mound in May (Claudia Gestro)

It was Max Muncy who got things going in the sixth inning with a leadoff single off Xavier Cedeno. Shortly after, Jeffress stepped in to pitch only to give up a single to Justin Turner, before Puig’s three-run blast sealed the Dodgers’ fate.

“Every single person in this room has their fingerprints on this season,” said Roberts following the Dodgers’ victory.

“We haven’t accomplished our goal yet. Four more wins. Let’s go.”

The Dodgers, who lost the World Series in Game 7 last season, will look to win it for the first time since 1988 as they face the Boston Red Sox this Tuesday at 8:09 p.m. ET at Fenway Park.

While it hasn’t been announced yet, Kershaw is expected to start Game 1 against Red Sox ace Chris Sale.

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Editor’s Note: Cody Bellinger was named the NLCS MVP and below are Claudia Gestro’s video reports from Games 3,4 and 5.

Top photo is a YouTube screenshot of Yasiel Puig hitting his 3-run homer in Game 7