The Dodgers insist: “No, Cubs, no!”

Hernandez and the Dodgers have a blast . . .

Hernandez and the Dodgers had a blast in Game Five . . .

Oh, well. Cinderella learned the hard way that fairy godmothers have only limited extra dispensations. Joe Hardy learned the harder way that you can fool the devil only once, after you were fool enough to cut a deal with him in the first place.

And if Applegate needed any way to hammer the point home, he couldn’t have chosen better than Clayton Kershaw looking like near-vintage Clayton Kershaw when he needed most to look that way in a postseason game.

Or, turning the Cub bullpen into arsonists.

The Cubs’ pumpkin is still a coach—for now

Baez finally found his swing at the best possible time for the Cubs in Game Four . . .

Baez finally found his swing at the best possible time for the Cubs in Game Four . . .

Cinderella bought one extra day, at minimum, before the coach turns back to a pumpkin. Joe Hardy had Applegate blocked at all gates. A guy who began Wednesday evening having gone 0-for-the-postseason at the plate hit two out.

And nobody had to steal a base with two out in the bottom of the ninth, either. It didn’t get that far in Wrigley Field. If it had, instead of singing “Go, Cubs, Go!” when it ended in the arduous 3-2 Cubs win, Cub Country would have been singing the Rolling Stones’s chestnut, “19th Nervous Breakdown.”

Turner’s Gibson act isn’t music to the Cubs’ eyes

Justin Turner channels his inner Kirk Gibson on better legs . . .

Justin Turner channels his inner Kirk Gibson on better legs . . .

With one swing in the bottom of the ninth Sunday night, Justin Turner gave the Dodgers and their fans something they haven’t had most of this postseason. Just when it looked like both League Championship Series were going to be the anti-division series that preceded them, along came a little old-fashioned off-the-charts heroism.

Sweep the Diamondbacks just to get to this LCS in the first place? Boooooooring. Get to a 2-0 National League Championship Series lead like methodical businessmen or like John McGraw’s ancient “scientific” baseball men? Pfft. Too easy.

A Cub shows too much leg

Umpire Winters actually let Maddon make a little case before tossing him, despite the rule calling for automatic ejection for arguing replay/review call overturns, as Maddon did on the illegal Contreras block Saturday.

Umpire Winters actually let Maddon make a little case before tossing him, despite the rule calling for automatic ejection for arguing replay/review call overturns, as Maddon did on the illegal Contreras block Saturday.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon doesn’t like Chicago’s soda tax. It took a play at the plate in Game One of the National League Championship Series to learn that.

Because Dodger shortstop Charlie Culberson was thrown out at the plate in the bottom of the seventh—no, he wasn’t, after Cubs catcher Willson Contreras blocked the plate before he had left fielder Kyle Schwarber’s throw in his possession.

This time, it doesn’t look encouraging for the Cubs

Flying the W against this year's Dodgers won't be easy for a drained collection of Cubs . . .

Flying the W against this year’s Dodgers won’t be easy for a drained collection of Cubs . . .

Before Cub Country begins salivating over the prospects of the Cubs reaching the World Series for a second straight year—after all, they’re the only one between last year’s combatants to get as far as a League Championship Series this time—a sobering truth must be faced. They’re going into their tango with the Dodgers with one and a half arms tied behind their backs.

The Comedy of Errors tonight . . . on Chiller Theatre

When the original Mets drafted Giants catcher Hobie Landrith to begin the expansion draft that created the team in the first place, manager Casey Stengel explained it by saying, “You have to have a catcher, or else you’ll have a lot of passed balls.”

Scherzer after the top of the fifth, probably wondering, "Was I really there when this happened to us?"

Scherzer after the top of the fifth, probably wondering, “Was I really there when this happened to us?”

I’d pay money to know what the Ol’ Perfesser was thinking while watching Game Five of the National League division series between the Nationals and the Cubs Thursday night, from wherever he was perched in the Elysian Fields of heaven. “Amazin’” might have been his most understated thought.

Strasburg breaks the mold and saves the Nats

Strasburg made no one but the Cubs feel sick in Game Four of their NLDS Wednesday . . .

Strasburg made no one but the Cubs feel sick in Game Four of their NLDS Wednesday . . .

Stephen Strasburg long-tossed in the Wrigley Field outfield before Game Four Wednesday afternoon. A couple of wisenheimers in the Cub bullpen wore medical masks over their noses and mouths.

Unavailable Tuesday even before the weather-induced postponement because changing weather caused him to breathe in mold—and feel feverish enough to be pumped full of antibiotics and IV fluids—Strasburg got the last laugh.

And the Nationals may yet get the last laugh with the division series moving back to Washington for Game Five.

Blowing in the crosswinds

Anthony Rizzo's jam shot floated into the crosswinds and hit the grass eluding three Nats to put the Cubs ahead to stay in Game Three, NLDS . . . will it help send the Nats home early again?

Anthony Rizzo’s jam shot floated into the crosswinds and hit the grass eluding Trea Turner (left), Michael Taylor (center), and Jayson Werth (right) to put the Cubs ahead to stay in Game Three, NLDS . . . will it help send the Nats home early again?

Don’t look now, but the Cubs are one game away from pushing the Nationals out of the postseason in round one. That would be territory both teams are accustomed to seeing, even if last year it was the Dodgers giving the Nats the push and the Cubs moving forward at the Giants’ expense.

The Bryce was right for the Nats in Game Two

Bryce Harper touching the plate after his mammoth two-run homer began bringing his Nats back from the dead in the eighth in Game Two

Bryce Harper touching the plate after his mammoth two-run homer began bringing his Nats back from the dead in the eighth in Game Two

Some teams see the danger of falling behind 2-0 in a three-of-five and shrivel. Some see it and see an opportunity. The same goes for individual players. Push them or theirs against the wall and they either shrivel or push back hard. Bryce Harper, right now, is in the latter category.

The Nationals aren’t anywhere near complaining, after Harper started the yanking that ended with a 6-3 Nats win in Game Two of their division series against the (say it again!) defending world champion Cubs. (Still feels good, no, Cub Country?)

Are the Nats postseason crisis junkies?

An unusual error and two RBI singles spoiled Strasburg's masterwork in the making . . .

An unusual error and two RBI singles spoiled Strasburg’s masterwork in the making . . .

The American League division series aren’t the only ones offering up surreality this time around. The National League is doing a good enough job itself. Unless you weren’t paying attention to Game One in Washington.

Never mind Clayton Kershaw surrendering four bombs and still winning Game One between the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks. The Cubs and the Nationals were a little juicier, even if the Cubs won by a measly 3-0 to open.