Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

Kershaw, Dodgers force Game 5 vs. Mets in L.A.

Clayton Kershaw -- pitching on three days' rest -- dazzled for seven innings as the Dodgers staved off elimination by beating the Mets in Game 4 of the NLDS.


NOW: Live coverage of NLDS

The Cubs are headed to the NLCS. Who'll join 'em? Don't miss the updates, reactions and notes as the Dodgers and Mets play in Tuesday's other matchup.

Rangers battle in Toronto, Game 5 of ALDS (3:13)
21hDavid Schoenfield

Monday's Top 5: A day of big bats

Oh, just another day with four playoff games, hours upon hours of hours of baseball excitement, and plenty of offense.

USA TODAY Sports, Getty Images

Caple: Blue Jays hold nothing back to return to Toronto

With their backs against the wall, the Blue Jays came out swinging in their 8-4 Game 4 win against the Rangers. But by pulling R.A. Dickey early for ace David Price, did they handicap their chances of winning Game 5?

1dBuster Olney

MLB sends message with Utley suspension

MLB's suspension of Chase Utley is a message that it wants to get rid of plays in which baserunners go out of their way to crash into fielders.

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

California bans tobacco in stadiums under new law

California lawmakers have taken the first step toward accomplishing something Major League Baseball could never do on its own: Stop players from using smokeless tobacco.


Adnan Virk, ESPN @adnanESPN

Kershaw after 7 playoff starts had the 2nd worst win pct of any pitcher with that many starts. Charlie Leibrandt (1-7). Huge W on short rest

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

The Mets and Dodgers are headed back to Dodger Stadium for a winner-take-all Game 5. In his first major league game in 19 days, rookie left-hander Steven Matz surrendered three runs in five innings. Meanwhile, Clayton Kershaw snapped a five-start postseason losing streak as the Dodgers avoided elimination with a 3-1 win against the Mets in Game 4 on Tuesday at Citi Field. Jacob deGrom will oppose Zack Greinke in L.A. on Thursday to determine which team will host the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday.

Kershaw, Dodgers force Game 5 in NLDS

Clayton Kershaw tossed 7 innings of one-run ball and struck out eight, and the Dodgers posted a three-run third to hold off the Mets 3-1 at Citi Field. The series shifts back to L.A. for a decisive Game 5 at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, where Zack Greinke will square off vs. Jacob deGrom Box score


Jansen, Dodgers get out of the jam

The Mets had runners on first and second with two outs, but Kenley Jansen got Daniel Murphy to fly out to end the eighth inning and quiet the Citi Field crowd. The Dodgers still lead 3-1 heading to the 9th. Follow live

Baseball Tonight @BBTN

With the tying run at the plate in David Wright and 2 outs in the 8th, Don Mattingly turns to Kenley Jansen for a 4-out save.

Cubs moving on to the NLCS

The Cubs clinched a postseason series win at Wrigley Field for the first time ever behind HRs to hold off the Cardinals 6-4 and advance to the NLCS for the first time since 2003.


Colon does his job, hands off to Clippard

Bartolo Colon struck out two and allowed one hit in two innings of relief. In the eighth, the Mets turned to Tyler Clippard, who recorded a 1-2-3 inning. But the Dodgers still lead 3-1. Follow live


Baseball Tonight @BBTN

Lead-off single comes to nothing and Kershaw is through 7 innings for just the 2nd time in a postseason game in his career.

David Schoenfield @dschoenfield

The Cardinals struck out 13 times in Game 3, which tied a franchise record for a postseason game. And then struck out 15 times today.

Maddon: The feeling is indescribable

Manager Joe Maddon on the Cubs' first-ever postseason series win at Wrigley Field: "Just look around you at this ballpark. Our fans are incredible. This group of players. The ownership. Everything came together at the right time."


Mark Saxon @markasaxon

Clayton Kershaw's pitch count is a quite manageable 86 through six innings. Going into the seventh inning of last year's NLDS G 4 it was 94

David Schoenfield @dschoenfield

One of Bartolo Colon's teammate as a rookie was Julio Franco, who was once a teammate of Pete Rose. Pete Rose is 74 years old.

Cubs fans happy to turn tables on Cards

Winning a playoff series at home for the first time in team history was huge for the Cubs. Beating the rival Cardinals in the process was even sweeter.


Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Steven Matz allowed three runs in five innings in his first career postseason start and may get tagged with a loss for the first time in his major league career. The reality is the Mets were asking a lot from Matz. Matz, the fourth rookie pitcher to start a postseason game in franchise history, had not appeared in a major league game since Sept. 24 due to back spasms. Still, the Mets concluded he was the best option to round out a division-series rotation with deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey. In retrospect, maybe Bartolo Colon would have been the better option.

Kershaw looking good through 5

Daniel Murphy's homer is the only blemish on Clayton Kershaw's start in Game 4 as the lefty has fanned six through 5 innings. The Dodgers lead the Mets 3-1 in the sixth. Follow live


Baseball Tonight @BBTN

Jacob deGrom is up and throwing in the Mets bullpen. He is currently scheduled to start Game 5 if there is one.

Adam Rubin @AdamRubinESPN

Juan Lagares with 2-out single in the fifth -- second Mets hit vs Kershaw. Michael Cuddyer hit for Matz.

Mark Saxon ESPN Staff Writer 

Justin Turner's four doubles in this series are the most ever for a Dodger in a postseason series. Turner, as of the fifth inning, was 7-for-14 in the series against his former team. The Mets non-tendered Turner in the winter of 2013 and the Dodgers, on the recommendation of coach Tim Wallach, signed him to a minor-league deal.

Jayson Stark Senior Writer, ESPN.com 

An hour and 20 minutes after the final out at Wrigley. And thousands of people are still in the seats. They don't want to leave. And no one is making them.