The Closer: And Now, Put Your Hands Together For Brother Sledge

Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Forget About It Jake, It's Mission Hills. Chinatown, LA Confidential, Hollywoodland, The Black Dahlia ... when the heck are they going to make a film based in San Diego? Plently of interesting things happen in San Diego; they don't call it "Enron by the Sea" for nothing. Well, until then, residents will have to be content with the grand spectacle that is the Padres, who are now in first place in the NL West after their 2-1 win over the Dodgers on Sunday. San Diego is 13-4 against LA this season after Terrmel Sledge singled home the winning run in the ninth, with Trevor Hoffman earning his 475th career save. The Dodgers are now in second place, a half-game back, as Grady Little whispers the words "Rollo Tomasi" and slumps to the dugout floor.

2. They've Got The Blues. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have some fresh hell to contend with in the rear-view mirror. Ryan Howard hit his 57th freakin' home run (we are now required to add the word "freakin" after each Howard HR), as the Frillies beat Houston 6-4. Mike Lieberthal homered twice as Philadelphia kept the Mets from clinching the NL East and came within one game of LA for the NL wild-card lead.

3. By The Way, Carlos Maldonado Stole A Base! And so, that takes us out to Pittsburgh, where once again the Mets fail miserably in their attempt to squirt champagne all over the PNC Park visiting locker room. The Pirates completed a three-game sweep with a 3-0 win, courtesy starting pitcher Zach Duke. Now it's back to Shea, where New York will attempt to get it done against the Marlins.

4. Lose The Balast! Get Rid Of St. Paul! It seems as if every time we check the AL Central, the Twins are always a game back. Minnesota turned five double plays, Scott Baker got the win, Twins beat Indians 6-1. Meanwhile, the Orioles stopped the Tigers 12-8 in 10 innings.

5. Is It Too Late For A Dramatic Late-Season Rally? Um, yes. Boston swept a doubleheader from the Yankees for the first time in 30 years (um, what?), 5-4 and 6-3.