Notes from a day in baseball:
• 1. Sorry We Jinxed The British Empire. On this date in 1781, the biggest upset in sports history was set into motion, as George Washington teamed with the French to begin the siege at Yorktown. Soon Cornwallis was forced to resign as the British head coach, and a new nation was born, conceived in liberty, giving the world lasting monuments to freedom such as disco, and the comedian Gallagher. And now an even bigger upset is on the horizon, as the Minnesota Twins have overcome the Detroit Tigers' once massive 10-game lead to tie up the AL Central. In a rocky outing by Kenny Rogers, the Tigers fell behind 7-0 before losing 8-6 to the Blue Jays, which combined with the Twins' 2-1 win over the Royals, leaves things tied with three games left in the regular season. But Detrot owns the division tiebreaker, and both teams are already in the playoffs, so let's not sit around all day arguing about who jinxed who ...
• 2. And Down The Stretch They Come! Meanwhile, imagine the NL Central as a sausage race, and the Cardinals are the Italian sausage (we suppose the Cubs would be the Chorizo). The Italian sausage is in clear command, 8 games ahead of the Bratwurst, when ... oh no! It's Randall Simon! The Astros beat the Pirates 3-0 on Thursday to extend their winning streak to nine games and are now but a mere half-game behind the Cardinals, who have made the comeback possible by losing eight of their past nine, including Thursday's 9-4 loss to the Brewers. The Astros were 8 1/2 games out on Sept. 20. Houston's Roy Oswalt (15-8) won his sixth in a row and fifth straight this month.
• 3. We're Not Quite Dead Yet! And don't forget about the Reds, who are 2 1/2 behind the Cardinals with three to play (all at Pittsburgh). Cincinnati beat Florida 5-1 as Kyle Lohse went six innings to get the win, and also doubled in two runs.
• 4. Don't Cry For Me, I'm Already Dead. Let us now say a few words over the grave of the Philadelphia Phillies, who endured a 4 1/2 hour rain delay in losing to the Nationals, 3-1. That leaves them two games behind LA in the NL wild-card race with three to play. The Dodgers beat the Rockies 19-11, as rookie James Loney tied Gil Hodges' 56-year-old team record of nine RBI.
• 5. Canooooooo! Daniel Cabrera lost his no-hitter with one out in the ninth when Robinson Cano singled, as the Orioles beat the Yankees 7-1. Cabrera, who lives about two minutes from Cano in the Dominican Republic, would have been the first to throw a one-man no-hitter against the Yankees since 1958 (Hoyt Wilhelm, in case you're wondering).