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Cubs' bats go cold, but they don't have time to feel sorry for themselves

The Chicago Cubs have made a habit of delivering the timely late-inning hit this season, but on Sunday it never arrived as they suffered a rare offensive shortcoming in a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Chicago's dynamic hitters were stunted by ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw who shut them down in a 1-0 loss that tied the best-of-seven National League Championship Series 1-1.

"That's why he's the best left-hander in the game for the last five or six years," catcher Miguel Montero told reporters of Kershaw, who held Chicago to just two hits.

The Cubs will travel to Los Angeles for Game Three on Tuesday looking to recapture the magic that helped them win a Major League-best 103 regular season wins and become World Series favorites.

Chicago's journey has been filled with heroics at the plate that had carried over into the post-season.

7 PHOTOS
Ranking MLB stadiums
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Ranking MLB stadiums

29. Rogers Centre, Toronto Blue Jays

The only things worse than this warehouse-looking place are the metric measurements on the outfield walls.

(Shutterstock)

23. Angel Stadium, Los Angeles Angels

Nothin’ like some fake rocks in center field to really set the mood for a baseball game.

Flickr

22. Progressive Field, Cleveland Indians

The fact that it’s no longer Jacobs Field bumps this down at least five spots.

Flickr

21. Busch Stadium, St. Louis Cardinals

Can this place just stay out of the playoffs just once?

Flickr

19. Chase Field, Arizona Diamondbacks

Center field is the deepest part of the stadium, guys. The wall doesn’t need to be that high.

Clintus McGintus/Flickr

5. Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox

Relax, Fenway is definitely an amazing place to watch a game. But sitting directly behind a pole and/or facing the left-center field wall just isn’t always appealing.

(Shutterstock)

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They opened the playoffs with a dramatic 1-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the National League Divisional Series, where infielder Javier Baez struck a game-winning home run in the eighth inning.

Then there was Kris Bryant's game-tying home run in the ninth inning of Game Three against the Giants and the four-run ninth-inning rally in Game Four that ultimately eliminated San Francisco.

In the NLCS opener against the Dodgers on Saturday, Montero snapped a 3-3 tie with a crushing grand slam in the eighth inning that gave the Cubs a familiar ending.

But the script was flipped against Kershaw as Chicago struck out 10 times.

The Cubs are known for their patience at the plate, having led the Majors in walks during the season, but knowing they were up against a stingy pitcher, they swung early and often at Kershaw.

Chicago appeared to have finally seized the dramatic moment against the ace in the seventh where Baez cracked a pitch deep to center field that dropped into the glove of Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson just before it reached the wall. It was the final pitch of the night for Kershaw, and as it turned out, the Cubs' last chance.

"We had some balls that were hit in the gaps, and they ran them down," said Chicago pitcher Jake Arrieta. "Tip your hat. We were one swing away."

31 PHOTOS
Ranking all 30 MLB teams' hats
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Ranking all 30 MLB teams' hats

30. Miami Marlins

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29. Washington Nationals

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28. Cincinnati Reds

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27. Colorado Rockies

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26. Texas Rangers

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25. Chicago White Sox

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24. Arizona Diamondbacks

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23. Milwaukee Brewers

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22. Minnesota Twins

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21. Tampa Bay Rays

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20. Cleveland Indians

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19. Pittsburgh Pirates

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18. Seattle Mariners

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17. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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16. Detroit Tigers

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15. Houston Astros

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14. San Diego Padres

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13. Philadelphia Phillies

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12. Kansas City Royals

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11. Oakland Athletics

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10. Baltimore Orioles

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9. Atlanta Braves

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8. Boston Red Sox

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7. New York Mets

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6. St. Louis Cardinals

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5. San Francisco Giants

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4. Chicago Cubs

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3. Toronto Blue Jays

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2. Los Angeles Dodgers

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1. New York Yankees

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