Darvish owns Game Seven, but he wasn’t the only Dodger culprit

The look on Darvish's face after Series MVP Springer took him over the fence said only too much . . .

The look on Darvish’s face after Series MVP Springer’s drive landed over the left center field fence said only too much . . .

Give Yu Darvish credit. He owned this one and didn’t flinch. He went out to start Game Seven of the World Series, got torn apart in an inning and two thirds, and felt even worse for letting down the team he appreciated for giving him another postseason shot in the first place.

Especially because his previous Series start, in Game Three, went the same way, only with one less run against him.

Kershaw to Astros: Sorry, wrong number

Clayton Kershaw dropping the hammer on the Astros. Look, Ma---no seventh-inning disaster!

Clayton Kershaw dropping the hammer on the Astros. Look, Ma—no seventh-inning disaster!

If you’re looking for perspective with the World Series underway, you could always begin with this. No pitcher struck out as many as eleven Astros in a game on the regular season. Until they ran into Clayton Kershaw in Game One.

For that matter, no pitcher in Dodger silks had struck out ten or more in any World Series game since Game Seven of the 1965 World Series—a fellow named Sandy Koufax, who struck out fifteen Twins that day—until Kershaw punched out his eleven Tuesday night.¬†

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.

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.

Break a losing streak, clinch a postseason trip—the hard way

Jansen let out a whoop after punching out Hundley to end the game and the Dodger losing streak . . . but . . .

Jansen let out a whoop after punching out Hundley to end the game and the Dodger losing streak . . . but . . .

If you’re going to end an eleven-game losing streak, there’s no better way to do it than the hard way. Even if the break also means you clinched a trip to the postseason at minimum. Even if you looked just a month ago as though you were going to cruise to and through the postseason, maybe aboard a supersonic aircraft.

The hardware chronicles, 2016 continued . . .

Uncontroversial NL MVP Bryant . . .

Uncontroversial NL MVP Bryant . . .

Concerning the rest of Hardware Week, a few sobering observations:

* Kris Bryant, the National League’s MVP, was a no-questions-asked solid pick. And yes, it’s rare that a guy follows a Rookie of the Year campaign with an MVP and a World Series ring. Maybe the¬†least¬†controversial award pick this year was Bryant. But if they’d given the award to one player across the board, Bryant would probably have finished second to Trout. And there’s no shame in that.

A Cub pennant, and a Code Blue World Series

Rizzo raising arms with the pennant-winning double play ball snapped in his mitt: "I'm sleeping with this thing tonight. Are you kidding me?"

Rizzo raising arms with the pennant-winning double play ball snapped in his mitt: “I’m sleeping with this thing tonight. Are you kidding me?”

Apparently, God has a sense of humour, after all. Fathers have been known to use wit to discipline their children, you know. And the Father of fathers sure picked a beauty to teach us a lesson after His foolish American children picked Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton for the White House.

The Chicago Cubs are going to the World Series for the first time since just after World War II. To play the Cleveland Indians, who haven’t won the World Series since just before the Berlin Airlift.

Seven isn’t Kershaw’s unlucky number anymore (we think) . . .

"The seventh inning? In a postseason game? And I came out of it alive? I'm going to Disneyland!!!!"

“The seventh inning? In a postseason game? And I came out of it alive? I’m going to Disneyland!!!!”

Look, ma—it went to the end of the seventh inning. And Clayton Kershaw wasn’t in flames when the inning ended.

Kershaw needed Game Two. He wasn’t exactly pitching on short rest. If you counted from his Game Four start in the division series, and considered his off-the-chart two outs of closing relief in Game Five—sending the Dodgers to this National League Championship Series in the first place—equivalent to a between-starts bullpen session, he actually pitched NLCS Game Two on regular rest.

The calls of the wild and a wild Dodger ninth

Gonzalez launches the game winner . . .

Gonzalez launches the game winner . . .

You could hear Dodger Stadium groan in the top of the third Monday night. An unearned Giants run that began with a steal and ended with a wild pitch was not supposed to happen when the Dodgers—behind Clayton Kershaw, yet—got crack number four at Madison Bumgarner this season.

You could hear the ballpark groan a little through the howls as the Dodger seventh ended, and Bumgarner and Yasiel Puig had a little debate following the inning-ending out Puig made on a checked-swing infield grounder. A debate apparently provoked by Bumgarner himself.

The Dodgers have the Padres in search of a run

Let's be Puigs about it: two triples in two games on the Padres' dimes . . .

Let’s be Puigs about it: two triples in two games on the Padres’ dimes . . .

Leaving spring training, a fair number of observers wondered whether their early crowd on the disabled list would leave the Dodgers in a wee spot of trouble to open 2016 in earnest. Not to mention how the Dodgers lost their last five spring exhibitions, including an embarrassing Freeway Series sweep in which the Angels outscored them 15-3.

Take my advice and don’t ask the Padres what they think, after opening the season against the Dodgers being shut out twice and destroyed once.