Game Three: In living colour on B-R-A-D

The following program was brought to you in living colour on B-R-A-D . . .

The following program was brought to you in living colour on B-R-A-D . . .

For pulling Rich Hill in the fourth in Game Two when Hill clearly lost his stuff, Dave Roberts got roasted because of what happened five innings later. For leaving Yu Darvish in Game Three to get jumped for four in the second on a night Darvish had no stuff to begin with, it wouldn’t be out of line to deep fry him.

Game Two: The nuts hunt the squirrels

Gonzalez runs out the bomb into which he turned Jansen's mistake. Game Two's insanity wasn't even close to finished, though . . .

Gonzalez runs out the bomb into which he turned Jansen’s mistake. Game Two’s insanity wasn’t even close to finished, though . . .

Was the second game of this World Series played in Dodger Stadium—or Bellevue? Were those baseball players we watched—or the inmates becoming the asylum?

World Series heroes past had nothing on Wednesday night’s, and no past Series goat ever got as much time to redeem himself as Wednesday’s, or proclaimed it with such becalmed near-defiance.

Bill Mazeroski, Carlton Fisk, Dave Henderson, Mookie Wilson, Tino Martinez and Derek Jeter, Scott Spiezio and Darin Erstad, Miguel Cabrera, Dave Roberts and David Ortiz, Lance Berkman and David Freese, David Ross and Rajai Davis? Who they?

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. 

Josh Reddick thinks Dodger fans done him wrong

COnfucius say: "Take champagne bath in skivvies, beware foaming at mouth."

Confucius say: “Take champagne bath in skivvies, beware foaming at mouth.”

There are some things about which baseball players ought not to pop off, when it comes to their former clubs, especially when they’re about to face said clubs in a World Series. Things like .220/.273/.300 slash lines against their former teams. Things like their .258/.307/.335 slash lines when playing for said former teams, not to mention their measly two home runs and nine runs batted in.

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.

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.