With a 3-1 victory over Chicago on Saturday night, Los Angeles swept its way to the next round of the playoffs for the first time since Ronald Reagan was President (1988). Meanwhile, they extended the misery suffered by the Chicago Cubs since Teddy Roosevelt was in office (1908). Wait 'til next year, again?
After being outscored 20-6 during the three games, the Cubs have no other choice.
Hiroki Kuroda turned in another fine starting pitching performance by the Dodgers and Jonathon Broxton struck out Alfonso Soriano for the final out. Soriano's checkswing started a wild celebration at Dodger Stadium that included manager Joe Torre, who came over from the New York Yankees before the season, and Manny Ramirez, part of a late-season trade with the Red Sox that helped put L.A. over the top.
"Right now, this is the place to be," Ramirez said in a TV interview on the field. "I did it before and we will do it again. ... When you are relaxed and in a place you really like, this is what happens."
Thing is, not many expected such a dominating performance in the series — at least not the way it turned out. The Dodgers won 84 games and the NL West title in a lackluster race with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but they completely outplayed the Cubs in every facet of the game in all three games. The Dodgers had not won a playoff series since beating the Oakland Athletics in the 1988 World Series.
The Cubs cruised to the NL Central title and won 97 games, most in the National League and most for their franchise since 1945. Their previous World Series title came, famously, in 1908.
The next one won't come sooner than 2009.