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.

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.

The Mattingly execution watch is on

Mattingly congratulates a gracious Collins after Game Five . . .

Mattingly congratulates a gracious Collins after Game Five . . .

Just as happened when the Washington Nationals were eliminated from the races, and the Matt Williams execution watch went from acute to get-it-over-with already, so has it been for Don Mattingly from just about the moment the Los Angeles Dodgers got bumped to one side Thursday night. Anything from speculating on when to speculating on successors, you name it.

At last it isn’t Kershaw’s elimination

This is a man who finally got through a postseason elimination game's seventh inning without disaster upending him.

This is a man who finally got through a postseason elimination game’s seventh inning without disaster upending him.

Seemingly, anyone who was within reasonable proximity testified that Clayton Kershaw wasn’t just amped up for Tuesday night’s Game Four start against the New York Mets. He was as fully charged as an electric company power station. Perhaps if you touched him you might come away with a shock comparable to that delivered by the electric eel.

Kershaw did everything he could to dismiss talk of any postseason jinx, the seventh inning in particular, before the game. Including that which suggested, with the immediate history’s backing, that on short rest in elimination games Kershaw could be had in due course.

The Clubs–er, Cubs–go to the NLCS

The party didn't stop for hours after the Cubs bludgeoned the Cardinals to one side.

The party didn’t stop for hours after the Cubs bludgeoned the Cardinals to one side.

Believe it. The Chicago Cubs have clubbed their way into the National League Championship Series. How long it takes the St. Louis Cardinals to recover from this one is left best to the crystal ball hustlers and card tricksters.

How long it takes before these Clubs wake up from this peculiar dream—they’ve never before clinched any title in their home playpen, and the way they did it could get them charged with human rights violations—might be left best to the same.

For the Mets, a blowout beats a brushback

Granderson didn't have to clear the fences to drive in five leading the Mets' Game Three ambush . . .

Granderson didn’t have to clear the fences to drive in five leading the Mets’ Game Three ambush . . .

They didn’t get Chase Utley’s head on a plate, or his body sprawling in the batter’s box, Monday night. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly—perhaps engaging a little gamesmanship—kept Utley out of the lineup as either a starter or a late-inning replacement. And New York Mets manager Terry Collins made a public enough show of ordering no retaliation, anyway.

Let’s cut to the Chase—Utley was out, and wrong

Let's all play Break the Contestant!

Let’s all play Break the Contestant!

Actually, Chase Utley was out at second base Saturday night. And while the line between hard nosed and plain dirty play is a very fine one, as often as not, trying to break up a double play isn’t half the crime that dropping into a takeout slide when you’re damn near even with the base and not even trying to touch it happens to be.

This one left the New York Mets with a broken shortstop and, in due course, a tied National League division series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The set moves to New York starting Monday night. Citi Field isn’t exactly going to be the most sedate ballpark in baseball for that one.

The pitchers’ duel you wanted, and deGrom outduels Kershaw

deGrom put on a show to remember to open an NLDS . . .

deGrom put on a show to remember to open an NLDS . . .

Apparently, a problematic seventh inning in postseason play isn’t restricted to times when Clayton Kershaw faces the St. Louis Cardinals. Send him up against a kid like Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets, even to the point of him engaging a pitching duel for the books, and the Los Angeles Dodgers bellwether runs into problems that cost ballgames as well.

The Dusty trail ends in Cincinnati

Lifting Cueto too late Tuesday helped seal Baker's fate . . .

Lifting Cueto too late Tuesday helped seal Baker’s fate . . .

The Cincinnati Reds have thrown out the first manager of the 2013 postseason. Three days after his Reds suffered a humiliating loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League wild card game, Dusty Baker’s tenure ended with his head on the proverbial plate.

And, with his resume showing a man who’s managed and won the most games without winning a World Series since the late Gene Mauch.