CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs went 108 years between championships. This really isn't new territory.
Still, it was jarring to see the reigning World Series champions go down without a fight.
After twice fending off elimination during their October title defense, the Cubs had nothing left for Game 5 of their NL Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jose Quintana got knocked out early, the offense was shut down by Clayton Kershaw and the Cubs fell 11-1 on Thursday night after getting outplayed throughout the series, which the Dodgers won 3-1.
The Cubs slumped early in the season, a year after rallying to beat Cleveland for their first World Series title since 1908. But in the second half, they looked more like their old selves, pushing for a second straight NL Central title and then advancing to the NLCS for the third straight year after winning a wild Game 5 at Washington in the NLDS.
They just couldn't hang with the 104-win Dodgers. Chicago beat Los Angeles in last year's NLCS, but this time, the Cubs were left to watch as the Dodgers celebrated at Wrigley Field. It's the second time in three years they've been through this — the Mets finished a four-game sweep at Wrigley in the 2015 NLCS.
They didn't have a choice this time, not with how they hit and pitched in the series.
They batted just .156, drew five walks compared to 28 for Los Angeles and scored eight runs in the series — all on home runs. They didn't sustain rallies or wear down pitchers.
Kris Bryant went 4 for 20 in the series. Anthony Rizzo had one hit in 17 at-bats.
Javier Baez went hitless in his first 20 playoff at-bats before knocking two home runs in Game 4 to help the Cubs avoid the sweep. But in Game 5, they were overwhelmed right from the start.
Enrique Hernandez hit three homers, and the Dodgers wasted no time jumping on Quintana. Acquired from the White Sox in a midseason trade, he gave up six runs in two-plus innings.
Quintana started the game by walking Chris Taylor, and things only got worse from there.
Cody Bellinger hit an RBI double in the first. Hernandez made it 2-0 when he drove the first pitch of the second inning out to center for his first career playoff homer. And the Dodgers knocked out Quintana in a five-run third.
He gave up four straight hits, starting with Taylor's leadoff double and Justin Turner's RBI single.
Quintana left after Yasiel Puig singled to load the bases, and things kept unraveling for the Cubs.
Hector Rondon came in with John Lackey already warming and struck out Logan Forsythe. But Hernandez drove the next pitch out to right-center for a grand slam. A crowd that was hopeful minutes earlier went silent with their team trailing 7-0.
The way the Cubs were hitting in these playoffs, it was clear they weren't coming back. Particularly, the way Kershaw was pitching.
The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner held them to a run and three hits in six innings.
He didn't give up a hit until Kris Bryant homered in the fourth to make it 9-1.