By David Adler, Matt Kelly and Manny Randhawa
After 71 long years, the Cubs are headed back to the World Series.
Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs defeated Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers, 5-0, in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday night at Wrigley Field, claiming the franchise's first pennant and World Series appearance since 1945.
The world is much different since the Cubs last played in the Fall Classic. For instance, only 2.5 billion humans roamed the Earth in 1945, and approximately 7.4 billion do so today. Twelve U.S. presidents have occupied the Oval Office since the Cubs claimed the pennant in Harry Truman's first year in office, and 38 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame had not even been born.
Now, incredibly, the Cubs stand just four wins shy of capturing their first championship since 1908. Before Chicago takes the field against the Cleveland Indians (who themselves are hoping to break a long winless streak, dating to 1948) in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday, here are some facts and figures you should know about the Cubs' historic Game 6 victory.
• The Cubs have snapped the longest streak without an appearance in a championship game or series in any of the four major North American sports.
• The 174 combined years between championships for the Cubs and Indians -- is the highest total of any final two teams, topping the 130 combined winless years between the Astros and White Sox in the 2005 Fall Classic.
• Tavern owner Billy Sianis, who supposedly set the "Curse of the Billy Goat" in motion during the 1945 World Series, passed away on Oct. 22, 1970 -- exactly 46 years to the day before the Cubs finally clinched another trip to the Fall Classic.
• The Cubs are the first team to win a LCS-clinching game with at least five players 25-or-younger in the starting lineup.
• Chicago snapped an 0-for-6 streak in potential NLCS clinching games, which included those famously painful defeats in 1984 and 2003.
• A total of 403 World Series games have been played since the last contest featuring the Cubs in 1945.
• A dominant combination of Hendricks and Aroldis Chapman faced the minimum 27 batters. The Cubs are only the second team to face the minimum number of batters in a postseason win. The other? The 1956 Yankees, who rode a perfect game from Don Larsen to a 2-0 win over the Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series.
• Hendricks completed 7 1/3 brilliant scoreless innings for Chicago, making him only the fourth pitcher in Cubs postseason history to post a scoreless start in a series-clinching game.
• Hendricks stayed ahead of the Dodgers' hitters all night. The right-hander faced a total of 23 batters and threw a first-pitch strike to 16 of them -- including 11 called strikes.
• Hendricks' game score of 82 (using the Bill James formula) tied John Smoltz (who was in the FOX broadcast booth Saturday) for the second-highest of any starting pitcher in a potential clinching game in the NLCS. Only Mike Hampton of the Mets posted a higher game score -- an 88 in the decisive Game 5 of the 2000 NLCS.
• Hendricks became the first starting pitcher in Cubs postseason history to face the minimum required batters through the first seven innings. Andrew Toles lined Hendricks' first pitch of the game for a single, but was immediately retired on a double play. Then, Josh Reddick reached on an error by Javier Baez in the second inning, but was wiped away on an inning-ending pickoff by Hendricks.
• That was the first time a pitcher had recorded a pickoff in a potential clinching game for his team in the NLCS since Andy Pettite for the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the 2005 NLCS. Hendricks' eight pickoffs dating back to the beginning of the 2015 are tied with Atlanta's Julio Teheran for the most of any right-handed pitcher.
• Hendricks is now 26-0 in his career in games in which he's received at least three runs of support from his offense.
• The Cubs plated two runs against Kershaw in the bottom of the first, marking the first time an opponent has ever scored multiple first-inning runs against the Dodgers' ace in the postseason. The last time Kershaw gave up more than one first-inning run in any game was on June 27, 2015, when the Miami Marlins plated two runs in the opening frame.
• Teams that scored first went a combined 11-0 between the two LCS this year.
• Kershaw threw 30 pitches in the first inning, the most pitches he's ever thrown in the first inning of a postseason game and the most he's thrown in any inning this season. Interestingly, only one of those pitches -- his 27th of the inning -- was his trademark curveball.
• The Cubs had just one plate appearance with a runner in scoring position during Kershaw's seven shutout innings in Game 2. They had nine through the first three innings of Game 6, and converted two RBI hits and a sacrifice fly.
• Willson Contreras' solo home run in the bottom of the fourth left the bat at 105.5 miles per hour, making it the third-hardest-hit homer off Kershaw in 2016. Only Giancarlo Stanton (109.5 mph) and Matt Duffy (105.9) hit harder round-trippers off the ace this year.
• Anthony Rizzo followed with his own home run off Kershaw in the fifth, making him the first left-handed hitter to homer off Kershaw since Daniel Murphy in Game 4 of the 2015 NL Division Series -- a span of 166 plate appearances.
• In nine previous career starts against the Cubs (including Game 2 of the NLCS), Kershaw had a 1.93 ERA, and he had never allowed more than three runs.
• Kershaw had only allowed two extra-base hits (both doubles) in his first 19 1/3 innings this postseason, but the Cubs knocked five extra-base hits (three doubles and two home runs) against the left-hander Saturday night. Those five extra-base hits are tied for the most Kershaw has allowed in any start in his Major League career. Kershaw gave up an extra-base hit in each of his five innings pitched, the first time in his career he had ever given up an extra-base hit in five consecutive innings.
• The Cubs were able to tally four barrels off Kershaw on Saturday, according to Statcast™, which is tied for the most barrels Kershaw has given up in any start this year. The Giants also hit four barrels off the lefty on June 10.
• The Dodgers are now 0-46 in road playoff games in which they trailed by at least three runs.
• Los Angeles has now gone 10 consecutive postseason appearances without reaching the World Series, setting a new record, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
• The Cubs are now just 108 outs away from claiming their first World Series championship since the 1908 World Series -- which took place 108 years ago.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.
Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyRsports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.