The Closer: This One's For Hook

Notes from a day in baseball:

1. A Special Webb Gem. Not to get all misty or anything this morning, but was it possible to watch Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb on Monday night against the Padres and not be rooting for him? Webb's close friend and former teammate at the University of Kentucky, Jon Hooker, was one of 49 people killed in the crash of a commuter jet in Lexington, Ky. on Sunday. Hooker had been married the previous night to Scarlett Parsley, also killed in the crash. So Webb dedicated Monday's game to his friend, whom he called Hook, and proceeded to allow just six hits over 7 1/3 innings in Arizona's 7-4 win. "I'm sure people do it all the time when tragedy happens like that, you try to do it for them, for the person," Webb told the AP. "I think that's what kind of motivated me and got me through it." We're usually wary of gestures like this — if Webb would have been lit up, we don't think it would mean he cared about his friend less — but it's still a nice little story.

2. The Telltale Heart. As if the Red Sox didn't have enough problems, now David Ortiz has a recurrence of an irregular heartbeat. Boston was losing 9-0 to Oakland on Monday as Big Papi was shipped back home for tests; manager Terry Francona said a clean bill of health is needed before he will play again. Frank Thomas' heartbeat is just fine; he hit his 476th home run, and Esteban Loaiza won his fourth straight decision.

3. Adventureland. We hadn't realized that the Mariners were riding a 20-game losing streak to teams in their own division — that's just sad — but Felix Hernandez mercifully ended all that. Hernandez threw a five-hitter for his first career shutout to lead Seattle over the Los Angeles Angels of Disneyland 2-0.

4. Give Me An M, A Bouncy M. Ryan Howard hit his 47th home run for the Phillies, but the Mets took a 15 1/2 game lead over Philadelphia in the NL East with an 8-3 win on Monday. La da, da, Carlos Delgado, David Wright, Paul Lo Duca and whoever the hell else you want to put in there ...

5. Repko Man. Never have the words "two-run bloop single" sounded so sweet in Los Angeles. Jason Repko, of all people, delivered the Dodgers' latest story arc, his seventh-inning "hit" driving in the eventual winning run in the Dodgers' 6-5 victory over the Reds