The Closer: Is Wagner The New Vince Coleman?

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Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Long Memories On Short Relief. We won't say that New York is a glass-is-half-empty kind of a place, because, well, someone has stolen the glass. But Mets' fans are arguing again despite a win, and as usual reliever Billy Wagner is in the center of it. Wagner blew another save on Wednesday — his third in 10 chances this season — to deny Pedro Martinez his sixth win. But Carlos Delgado's home run to lead off the 12th inning gave New York a 4-3 victory over Pittsburgh anyway. Wagner came in with a 3-1 lead in the ninth, then gave up two walks and two singles as the Pirates tied it. Inspiring quote from Delgado on Wagner: "He's going to save a lot more games than he's going to blow."

2. This Round To You, Brad. But We Shall Meet Again. Whenever we hear the names Brad Lidge and Albert Pujols in the same sentence, we tend to think of this. Pujols just missed getting Lidge again last night, with the Cards down one run with a man on in the ninth, smashing a ball to deep center ... in the one park you can't hit it out in center. The last time they met it was a lot uglier — Pujols touching Lidge for a game-winning, three-run homer in Game 5 of the NLCS. Pujols did hit his Major League-leading 15th homer earlier in the game, off of Roy Oswalt. Oh, and the Astros formerly offered Roger Clemens $3 million a month to pitch for them this season, the same salary he made last year when he also had to work in April, May and June.

3. We Don't Mean To Be Negative, But .... Kansas City lost again on Wednesday, and really, did that even need to be said? If Royals players have infant children, we would advise placing them in rocket ships and sending them into space before the whole franchise explodes. On Wednesday they even managed to make Brad Radke look good, as he threw seven solid innings in the Twins' 6-1 win. Kansas City, 5-20 overall, is 0-12 on the road, one short of the record for most consecutive road losses at the start of a season.

4. The Heat Is On. Old people don't do heat well. They thrive in air conditioning, not the Arizona sun. And while the Diamondbacks' Chase Field may be climate controlled (is it?), you still have to get there, and there's cactus everywhere, and lizards on rocks ... you can break into a sweat just looking at pictures of Arizona. Greg Maddux would prefer not to go there. The Cubs' pitcher saw his five-game winning streak end with a 5-1 defeat, leaving him 1-9 career against Arizona, and 0-5 at Chase. Maddux is 322-181 vs. everyone else.

5. Seventh-Inning Stretch. Jason Michaels, a No. 8 who plans on keeping his number for the foreseeable future, had a healthy afternoon; going 4-for-6 with two RBI as the Indians beat the Athletics 14-3. Cleveland had a nine-run seventh, and winner Paul Byrd has had a combined 50 runs of support in his past four starts.