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.┬áIt 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.”

Badly timed not-so-grand slam punches Montero’s ticket out

Once upon a time, Cliff Robertson, playing cartoonish Western villain Shame on the cartoonish television series Batman, barked at one of his henchmen, “A big mouth works best when it’s kept shut!” Miguel Montero, backup catcher whom the Cubs now wish to make a former Cub, is learning the hard way.

Manager Joe Maddon takes the ball from Jake Arrieta Tuesday, after the Nationals scored four and stole seven off him; catcher Miguel Montero was unamused and spoiling to schpritz after the loss.

Manager Joe Maddon takes the ball from Jake Arrieta Tuesday, after the Nationals scored four and stole seven off him; catcher Miguel Montero was unamused and spoiling to schpritz after the loss.

Basebrawl’s jake with Arrieta

This kind of basebrawl is just jake with Arrieta . . .

This kind of basebrawl is (his word) refreshing to Jake Arrieta . . .

One of the most thoughtfully articulate baseball players of his time stands athwart sense, yelling “Super!” about brawl games such as that instigated by Hunter Strickland against Bryce Harper on Memorial Day. It’s enough to provoke lustful thoughts about the Kardashians, to whom exhibitionism equals articulation.

Schpritzing about who does and does not have the right to flip a bat upon a monster mash may be one thing, but Jake Arrieta, Cubs pitcher, thinks the Strickland-Harper rumble was “awesome.”

Wright’s plight and other spring springings

Wright hitting a two-run bomb in Game Three, 2015 World Series; at least he, unlike several whom injuries threw off the Hall of Fame tracks, got to play in a Series at all . . .

Wright hitting a two-run bomb in Game Three, 2015 World Series; at least he, like Tony Oliva but unlike several others whom injuries threw off the Hall of Fame tracks, got to play in a Series at all . . .

Yes, Yogi, you can observe a lot just by watching. Herewith some of my observations over the early weeks of spring training:

To Game Seven, via the ICU

Chapman in the eighth . . .

Chapman in the eighth . . .

Forget about making things a little more exciting even when they leave themselves room enough to make things simple. These Cubs are just hell bent on keeping Cub Country not on edge, but within easy reach of the intensive care unit.

These Indians seem hell bent likewise regarding the Indian Isles, who must have thought—after the Cubs forced a seventh World Series game—that simplicity is simply not an option anymore.

Enter the Schwarbinator

The Schwarbinator drills the second of his two Game Two RBI singles in the fifth, this one off Indians reliever Bryan Shaw.

The Schwarbinator drills the second of his two Game Two RBI singles in the fifth, this one off Indians reliever Bryan Shaw.

This is what we knew about Kyle Schwarber before this World Series: He made a splash—no, a tidal wave—in last year’s postseason. Including his parking of a meatball from St. Louis’s Kevin Siegrist atop the Wrigley Field scoreboard in the seventh inning of the division series clincher.

The Cubs’ bats can’t wait for another late-game drama

Rizzo and most of the rest of the Cubs' bats need to return from the dead pronto . . .

Rizzo and most of the rest of the Cubs’ bats need to return from the dead pronto . . .

It isn’t exactly time for traditional watchers for Cubs calamity to calibrate their instruments. But the Cubs’ lineup is becoming cause for just a wee dollop of alarm, even as the National League Championship Series shifts to Los Angeles tied at a game apiece.

A team with baseball’s best regular season record who finished third in Show in runs scored on that season should be doing better at getting men across the plate. Even with those late-game dramas that got the Cubs here in the first place.

Gillaspie strikes again

With the Giants five outs from elimination, Kid Gillaspie turns Game Three around with a two-run triple . . .

With the Giants five outs from elimination, Kid Gillaspie turns Game Three around with a two-run triple . . .

It was almost as if the Giants willed themselves to say, “How dare you bash our MadBum for three, you miscreants!” But this time, this eighth inning, nobody in a Cub uniform made a fatal mistake or a terrible pitch or a careless error.

This time, this eighth inning, this Game Three of this National League division series, the Cubs threw the best they had at the Giants, who threw the best he had at Kid Conor Gillaspie.

Medicine for the Mets: Sweep the Cubs

Loney (l) gives Flores the low-five on Flores's record-tying Sunday . . .

Loney (l) gives Flores the low-five on Flores’s record-tying Sunday . . .

Don’t even think about saying the Mets have been cured completely of their June swoon just yet. And don’t even think about saying the Cubs have been broken back to the land of the mere mortals just yet. But it wouldn’t be out of line to suggest that a weekend sweep of the Cubs gave the Mets their first serious medicinal break of the year. And we use the term “medicinal” advisedly.

As we turn toward spring training’s final week . . .

Fifty cent fines for mental mistakes . . .

Fifty cent fines for mental mistakes . . . may not be as chintzy as they look on the surface . . .