The Closer: Maddux Throws Himself A Housewarming Party

Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Mr. Blue, You're Doin' It Right. Greg Maddux hasn't pitched a no-hitter since Little League — which was, what, 50 years ago? — but he came close in his Dodgers debut. The 40-year-old had barely unpacked after his trade from the Cubs when he pitched six hitless innings, missing out on a chance for a no-hitter because of a 45-minute rain delay. The Dodgers went on to beat the Reds 3-0. "After 45 minutes, we didn't want to take a chance," manager Grady Little said of pulling Maddux. "He said he had a no-hitter in Little League that would last him the rest of his life. We have priorities now." There's no such thing officially as a six-inning no-hitter in the majors, by the way, so Maddux was out of luck even if it continued raining.

2. Chase Of A Lifetime. The hitting machine that is Chase Utley continues to chug along, as his three hits on Thursday extended his hitting streak to 35 games. Utley singled in the first and added two more hits in the Phillies' 8-1 victory over the Cardinals. It's the 10th-longest hitting streak in major league history, in case you were wondering. Oh, and the Cardinals are making us miserable.

3. A Lidle Goes A Long Way. Cory Lidle went six strong innings in his first start with the Yankees, and Bobby Abreu had three hits (he's 5-for-13 in three games since joining NY) as the pinstriped-ones beat the Blue Jays 8-1.

4. Meet Beat The Mets. Dontrelle Willis went eight innings to outduel Pedro Martinez as the Marlins beat the Mets 4-1. This puts Florida just four games back of the Reds and the Diamondbacks in the NL wild card race.

5. Shin-Soo Choo Koo, Mrs. Robinson. David Ortiz hit a grand slam in the ninth to lead the Red Sox to ... oh, no, that's wrong. Sorry; force of habit. The Indians' Jake Westbrook became the first pitcher in 18 years to win despite allowing 15 hits, as Cleveland beat Boston 8-7 behind Shin-Soo Choo's grand slam.