Your Guide to the 2016 NLCS

Editor’s note (just kidding like I have an editor who would touch this): This blog post began with the Dodgers up 4-1 in the seventh against the Nationals in Game 5 of the NLDS.

It’s happening, isn’t it? After I was shocked beyond explanation knew all along that the Cubs would OBVIOUSLY score four runs in the top of the ninth to win the NLDS, I settled in to find out who our opponent would be. Choosing between the Nationals and Dodgers was pretty easy for me.  The Nationals have the walking talking Jesus freak 2015 playoff killer Daniel Murphy and I’m gonna be honest, I’d rather not see him again this year.  Also I follow the Dodgers very closely… because… well, I mean, we all have to come out sometime…

  1. Look, people, Clayton Kershaw is my baseball boyfriend. Clayton Kershaw has been my baseball boyfriend since 2009 when I first fell hopelessly in love with really appreciated the 12-6 curveball that he can throw. This thing is beautiful. It is magical.
  2. Clayton Kershaw is also a Jesus freak but he does his Jesus-ing silently and builds schools and homes in Kenya in the offseason and yes, maybe, I have donated to his charity because I love him so much and that makes me a hypocrite and oh god…
  3. …I hope he sucks in the NLCS.
  4. There has been a claim that he has been a bit shaky and non-Kershaw-esque in the playoffs in the past and I watched him meltdown against the god damned gosh darned Cardinals two years in a row which was enough to destroy my heart and cause me to yell at people who called him the Peyton Manning of baseball.
  5. Clayton Kershaw cannot make it through the seventh inning of playoff games. Write this down. Repeat it silently to yourself in Games 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 which are the only games he’ll probably pitch in during this series. Because…
  6. The Dodgers are pretty short on pitching. Which is good because…
  7. The Cubs appeared completely devoid of offensive talent unable to hit for most of the NLDS. We need a good offensive series or the tension in my body will require that I watch the game with my massage therapist on hand at all times.
  8. I can’t believe we’re going to face my baseball boyfriend to go to the World Series.
  9. Beyond that, though, weren’t you all glad I introduced you to Javy Baez before the NLDS?  Isn’t he a pretty fun little whippersnapper with a glove of gold and the swagger of a young rapper with an entourage of approximately 3 million white people screaming in their living rooms?
  10. Sure, Vin Scully announced games for the Dodgers for 67 years and retired two weeks ago and made me cry. Fine. That does not in any way entitle the Dodgers to go to the World Series. I don’t care that he’s the greatest there ever was. He donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign. So there.
  11. Clayton Kershaw follows Fox News on Twitter. I’m going to write this on his jersey I have hanging in my baseball room.
  12. Do I have to hide my Kershaw bobblehead in my office? I do.  Like I need to ceremoniously put him in a drawer and bury him under a Cubs t-shirt or something, right?
  13. Just for reference, this is the EXACT moment that the Nationals hit a two-run HR in the seventh to pull within one run. Which means…
  14. …I have no idea what I’m doing. Stop showing Kershaw on the screen. I don’t know what I want anymore. IT IS ALL TOO MUCH AND I’M GOING TO START FOLLOWING AN ULTIMATE FRISBEE TEAM SOMEWHERE.
  15. Is now the right time to disclose that I own both Dodgers and Nationals hoodies because I am a baseball freak and like both these teams but still hate Daniel Murphy?  I feel like 4-3 in the seventh with Bryce Harper at the plate is the right time to start devolving and spilling all my secrets.
  16. And Bryce Harper just singled. Jayson Werth is up. Jayson Werth apparently cannot button his jersey nor wear a shirt that covers his chest hair. Riff raff like this need not apply to the NLCS against my Cubs. Alas, he struck out.
  17. Do you know who is up? DO YOU KNOW WHO IS COMING TO THE PLATE? The baseball gods and the writing gods are sitting somewhere, smoking peyote, and giggling at me.
  18. …has no idea if one smokes peyote or if one inhales it or chews it or squirts it in one’s ear…
  19. They walked Lord Murphy.  Kenley Jansen versus Anthony Rendon.  I am tense and stressed and I literally cannot tell you who I hope wins.  I do not like playoff baseball. I like lounging, Friday afternoon baseball. Everything about this baseball causes me tension.
  20. Rendon struck out. The seventh inning lasted one hour and six minutes. I think I took a total of 12 breaths.
  21. Dusty Baker is managing this game like it’s September and he has expanded rosters. Six pitching changes and he’s bringing in his closer in a game he’s losing in the 8th. Every Cubs fan reading this just started nodding along. Somewhere, Mark Prior winces.
  22. I feel like we are being set up for Clayton to close this game. My brain will metaphorically explode and that will be the end of this guide if that happens.
  23. Ninth inning. Clayton Kershaw is warming up. I am going to die.
  24. Kenley Jansen has nothing left and Harper is on first and Werth is up to bat and Murphy is on deck and Kershaw is the only pitcher warming up in the Dodgers pen and HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE BASEBALL?!?
  25. Jansen walks Werth. Here comes Kershaw. Kershaw threw 110 pitches two days ago. Do you know who is up? Lord Murphy.  Maybe I’ll just go to bed…
  26. Lord Murphy pops out. Two down.  I want the Dodgers to win both so I can go to bed and because I can’t imagine Kershaw can pitch again in Game 1 on Saturday or Game 2 on Sunday but, y’know, whatever.
  27. Kershaw strikes out whatever poor soul came up last. My god.
  28. It’s happening. My Team versus My Boy.  Go Cubs Go
  29. Also the Dodgers have some hitters but it doesn’t matter. We got this.
  30. Just my god, Clayton Kershaw. GAH.

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