The Closer: Not Your Average Joe

Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Boof, He Did It Again, He Played With My Heart ... We were saying something Wednesday about Joe Mauer beginning to lose his appeal as the great new star in the American League? What were we thinking? Mauer had three hits and four RBI — he's hitting .361, nearly 20 points higher than anyone else in the majors — as the Twins drubbed the Orioles 11-2 on Thursday. Michael Cuddyer went 4-for-4. Oh, and before we forget, it's time to say: Boof Bonser! It must be fun being a Twins fan.

2. Too Early To Call The Race In Ohio. As we shall mention in other parts later today — if we can find our hatchet and bottle of Grey Goose — the NL Central is ... is ... no, it's NOT TIED. The Cardinals lead the Reds .5238 percentage points to .5234, and if you think that's a tie, you are WRONG.

3. The Hooks Wiltse Curse Strikes Again. Jered Weaver almost made it to September without a loss — actually pretty $&$#! amazing when you think about it — but it had to happen sometime. Josh Beckett (14-8) got the win and Big Papi hit his 46th home run as Boston beat the Angels 2-1. And here's the graph from the AP story we just can't stop re-reading: "Weaver (9-1) was trying to become the third pitcher in big-league history to win his first 10 decisions as a starter, joining Hooks Wiltse of the 1904 New York Giants (12-0) and Kirk Reuter of the 1993-94 Montreal Expos (10-0)." Angels fans must almost be glad he lost.

4. Drink Like A Champion. Milwaukee celebrated its election on Thursday as "The Drunkest City in America" by collecting 13 hits in a 12-6 win over the hapless Rockies. Hey, don't laugh Minneapolis-St. Paul; you were second.

5. The Most Highly Caffeinated City In America Wins Again. Boston actually gained a game on the Yankees as Jarrod Washburn struck out nine in Seattle's 4-2 win over NY, whose AL East lead is 5 1/2 games.