The Closer: How Griffey Got His Groove Back

Notes from a day in baseball:

1. You Go, Junior. The way things started for him, we always thought that it would be Ken Griffey Jr., and not Barry Bonds, who would one day be approaching the all-time home run mark. There was that impressive five-year stretch, 1996-2000, in which he hit 249 homers — including back-to-back seasons with 56. But injuries have dented the legacy, most likely denying the 36-year-old the opportunity to be the first player to legitimately challenge Aaron's record. But Griffey returned to the Reds' lineup on Thursday in a big way; his three-run homer in the bottom of the 11th won it for Cincinnati, 5-4, over the Nationals. (Griffey had missed a month because of a bad knee.) The Reds have been in first place in the NL Central for 14 days; their longest time there in two seasons.

2. Pretty In Pink. A reader brought up the point on Wednesday and we have to agree: it would be quite odd if Barry Bonds tied or passed Babe Ruth with a pink bat. There's no word yet if Bonds is going to be one of the many major leaguers who will use the dyed bats on Mother's Day; part of a weeklong program to raise money for breast cancer research. It's kind of no-win for Barry; he'll look like a schmuck if he doesn't participate, and he'll look like a dork if he does. This will be a photo, after all, that will live for quite some time. For example, can you imagine this shot, only with Aaron carrying a purse? The Giants, by the way, beat the Cubs on Thursday 9-3 as Bonds went 0-for-3 with two walks.

3. It Only Hurts When I Wave. This just in: The Yankees have confirmed that they have a limp-wristed player, and it is not Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez.* It's Hideki Matsui, who broke his left wrist on Thursday attempting a sliding catch. It also broke his consecutive-game streak at 518 games, and the Red Sox went on to beat New York 5-3, taking the series 2-1. Of course, combined with his 1,250 consecutive games with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan's Central League before joining the Yankees, that's 1,768 straight for Matsui. Mark Loretta's two-run single in the seventh was the difference.

4. Oh, Canada. Troy Glaus homered twice with four RBI and Ted Lilly went seven-plus strong innings to beat his former team as Toronto downed Oakland 8-3. Glaus, who hit .258 last season with Arizona, waived a no-trade clause to come to the Blue Jays. He must have known something, because he's hitting .274 with 12 homers and 30 RBI.

5. Catch 33. Your Thursday scores from Philadelphia: Center Field Wall 1, Aaron Rowand 0. Phillies 2, Mets 0. Rowand broke his nose on a run-saving catch, in a five-inning game shortened by rain. The grab was really pretty amazing, as you can see in this video (thanks to The 700 Level).

* = So cheap. Sorry (we bow, Japanese style).