The Closer: It Goes To Eleven

Notes from a day in baseball ...

1. Cubs' Slow March To Oblivion. It was a moment frozen in time. If Cubs' pitcher Sean Marshall isn't the slowest person on Earth, he has to be close. In the third inning of the Cubs' game with the Mets on Sunday, Marshall literally jogged from first to third on a double by Juan Pierre, with Pierre actually making it to second before Marshall lumbered into third. As usual, Joe Moragn was on the wrong side of the issue. "No reason for Marshall to try and score on that play," Morgan said confidently. "You don't want your pitcher getting tired, especially when you're ahead 5-0." Of course, Marshall died on third, and the Mets went on to win 13-7, powered by an 11-run sixth inning. Cliff Floyd and Carlos Beltran had grand slams in the inning, and David Wright had a two-run homer; the most runs in a single inning in Mets' history. But just think what would have happened it Cubs' pitchers had tired themselves out.

2. The Hunt For Red October. Did we mention that Albert Pujols is back? Pujols was 4-for-5, driving in Chris Duncan three times, as St. Louis won its seventh straight, 11-3 over the Dodgers.

3. That's Four Hundred Saves, And Counting. Say what you will about the Yankees, but Mariano Rivera is a studly freak of nature. We also think he looks a lot like a bird, though we can't put a finger on why.

4. Red Alert! Boston Lead Down To Half-Game. If the Athletics win a series in Boston, you know it's looking bad for the Sox. Mark Kotsay went 4-for-5 as Oakland won 8-1 on Sunday, taking the series three-games to one.

5. Ballpark Frank. We would just like to say that we were huge fans of Frank Catalanotto before it was fashionable. Catalanotto's single in the 11th gave the Blue Jays a 4-3 win over the Mariners, giving Toronto a 5-0 record in extra innings this season.