The Closer: Mets Soldier On Without Pedro

Notes from a day in baseball ...

1. Start Spreadin' The News. We're seeing more diving among big-name All-Stars than we've seen in the entire World Cup so far. The latest is Pedro Martinez, who was placed on the 15-day DL on Thursday so there would be no awkward moments when Bud Selig called and asked, "Um, so when you showin' up to the All-Star game, Pedro?" It's Pedro's annual injury (thigh? We're not sure), so that he can get in a little mid-July fishing. This all means that Mike Pelfrey will make his majors debut on Saturday against the Marlins. Oh, on Thursday, David Wright hit his 19th homer, driving in two runs in the Mets' 7-5 win over the Pirates.

2. Begone, Devil Fish!. David Ortiz has had enough of the Phenomenon That Is The Tampa Bay Devil Rays. After losing three straight to the Cephalic-Finned Mantas, Ortiz clouted two homers — Nos. 28 and 29 — to lead the Red Sox to a 12-5 win at Tropicana Field (mmmm, orange juice ...). His second homer was a grand slam, in the ninth.

3. ... But You Don't Mess Around With Jim. It's turning out to be a spirited home run chase, even if our favorite player with the initials AP is not currently involved. Jim Thome hit two homers and six RBI to lead the White Sox over the Orioles 11-8. That ties him for the season lead in home runs with David Ortiz, at 29. Both hit a grand slam on Thursday.

4. LA Confidential. The news was not good for the Dodgers on Thursday. First, someone named Brad Hennessey beat them in relief in part by pitching out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fifth, with the Giants winning 5-4. LA learned Wednesday that uber-reliever Eric Gagne may need back surgery. Not that you were expecting him back anyway.

5. Braves Slightly Less Crappy These Days. Jeff Francoeur's two-out single in the 10th, driving in Chipper Jones with the winning run in Atlanta's 8-7 victory.