Sweeping the Snakes, the Dodgers get a Hall of Famer’s endorsement

The Dodgers sweep the Diamondbacks. Now they wait for their NLCS opponent . . .

The Dodgers sweep the Diamondbacks. Now they wait for their NLCS opponent . . .

Psychologically speaking, when you get Sandy Koufax’s endorsement for a trip to the World Series it’s gilt-edged insurance. Speaking in baseball, alas, the Dodgers’ more than impressive sweep of the Diamondbacks out of their National League division series was just step one.

The Dodgers await the net results of the Nationals-Cubs division series. Which of them proves the Dodgers’ League Championship Series opponent didn’t exactly seem to faze Koufax as he stood outside the Chase Field visitors’ clubhouse while the Dodgers partied heartily enough after Monday’s 3-1 win.

The Snakes prevail at the circus

Archie Bradley sliding into third with his staggering triple . . .

Archie Bradley sliding into third with his staggering triple . . .

People have said “anything can happen” in the postseason to the point where it sometimes becomes meaningless. Until or unless things happen the way they did in Phoenix Wednesday night.

This is one time when a score such as 11-8 tells you something above and beyond a couple of teams taking it to each other. Baseball above and beyond the call of sanity is one way to put what the Diamondbacks and the Rockies did, even if it’s the Diamondbacks moving on to a division series date with the Dodgers.

Tough for even the best to hit the Indians’ pitching

Get your runs now---Miller Time is coming . . .

Get your runs now—Miller Time is coming . . .

If good pitching beats good hitting, the Indians go into this postseason with a distinct advantage over the competition. Even over those yummy young Yankees. And if good hitting beats good pitching, a few postseason bullpens have key vulnerabilities. Rather than bore you with why I think everyone else can just hurry up and wait for the Indians to claim this year what they nearly did last, let’s expand upon those two thoughts.

Opening Day: Cy Ruth versus two blown saves

Maybe they should have left Bumgarner in for the ninth . . .

Maybe they should have left Bumgarner in for the ninth . . .

Wouldn’t you love to have known the dialogue between Giants manager Bruce Bochy and his Opening Day starting pitcher and Cy Ruth Award candidate Madison Bumgarner, when Bumgarner wasn’t pitching during their not-pretty 6-5 loss to the Diamondbacks? Rumour has it that it went something like this:

Bochy: Bum, it’s not that we don’t need the runs, but would you kindly remember that your job with this team is not to do your impersonation of Henry Aaron every other time up?

Bumgarner: Skip, just don’t look at me!

Some in baseball still try shooting the messengers

Bremer, confronted by a Twins player over (God help us!) truth in broadcasting . . .

Bremer, confronted by a Twins player over (God help us!) truth in broadcasting . . .

Shooting or brushing back the messenger is two things. One is bad form. The second is that, until or unless the message is demonstrably libelous or slanderous, it rarely works to the shooter’s advantage. It doesn’t keep people from trying. And it doesn’t keep those folks from looking foolish. (Donaldus Minimus, call your office. You too, Hilarious Rodent Clinton.)

Let the intrigues begin in earnest . . .

They barely have the streets swept clean following the Kansas City Royals’ World Series parade, and the off-season intrigues have begun in earnest. OK, a couple began when it barely began sinking in that the New York Mets had blown a Series they actually could have won, or when Don Mattingly left the Los Angeles Dodgers and became the Miami Marlins’ new manager. But let’s start looking:

Rios, who forgot how many outs there were when he caught this Game Four fly . . .

Rios, who forgot how many outs there were when he caught this Game Four fly . . .

The Mariners play a Trumbo card that might be a joker

Could Trumbo and the Mariners hurt each other more than help each other?

Could Trumbo and the Mariners hurt each other more than help each other?

Things got this bad for the Mariners by midweek: They were hitting .239 and slugging .393 as a team. Nelson Cruz may be having a stellar season thus far but he’s the only Mariner regular with an on base percentage reaching toward .400. In fact, he looks more like Robinson Cano, their big free agency signing of over a year ago, than Robinson Cano does these days.

Goldschmidt, McCutchen, and the drill of it all

Towers---if you can't beat 'em, drill 'em . . .

Towers—if you can’t beat ‘em, drill ‘em . . .

Nobody can say we weren’t warned that the Arizona Diamondbacks’ policy of an eye for an eye was going to get worse and more surreal before the team got better. Now this struggling team, whose season is lost, whose general manager made ostentatious off-season pronouncements that it would be an eye for an eye from now on no matter what, may be in the paradoxical position of manning up into a reputation for cowardice.

The Dodgers’ victory swim

Concerning the Los Angeles Dodger’s pool party to celebrate clinching the National League West in Arizona, a few observations:

1) There was a point during the season when the Dodgers had hit rock bottom, or close enough, while the Diamondbacks were hitting the high notes and the high standings. It isn’t exactly out of the bounds of reason to suggest that, on the assumption that the Dodgers had a resurrection in them, which wasn’t an assumption many were willing to make at that point in time, there could be nothing sweeter than to finish it at the Diamondbacks’ expense. Especially considering . . .

The Brawl Star Game

Super rookie Puig falls by a nose . . .

Super rookie Puig falls by a nose . . .

Jump not to any conclusions that not even a collarbone fracture in an earlier brawl this season sent Zack Greinke the message. Let’s run down how went the Tuesday night fights between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks — featuring a few rounds between several 1980s all-stars now among both teams’ brain trusts — for those who needed a scorecard to establish the, ahem, order of battle: