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The Closer: It ... Is ... Alive!

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Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Leitch: "It Wasn't A Suicide Attempt.". We were beginning to think that the Cardinals wouldn't win another game in our lifetime, and with our kind of luck, we might hold on for another 70 years. But just as things seemed at their bleakest, Albert Pujols pulled out the HeartStart Home Defibrillator and, with one jolt, there was hope. Prince Albert clouted his 47th home run with two outs in the eighth, a three-run shot, to lead a 4-2 win over San Diego. That caused all kinds of implications in the National League, which we'll go into further down. The blast came off of Cla Meredith, who must now forfeit yet another letter from his first name. The Cardinals remain 1 1/2 games ahead of the Astros in the Central. Man, take it from us: Seven-game losing streaks are no fun, and thank heavens there aren't enough games left in the season for that to happen again.


2. Who Are Those Guys? Meanwhile, the Astros are like that dog who is still hanging from the mailman's ass by his teeth, even after he arrives home after his shift. Houston beat Pittsburgh 7-6 in 15 innings, on Brad Ausmus' sacrifice fly, to keep pace with the Cardinals. The Astros, winners of eight straight and nine of their past 10, have four games remaining in the regular season, all on the road.

3. Koo Koo Ka Shoo, Mr. Robinson. Derek Lowe (16-8) seems immune to the Dodgers' latest woes, winning his seventh straight decision, 6-4 over the Rockies. With the Cardinals' win over the Padres, LA is now one game behind San Diego for first in the NL West and remained one game ahead of Philadelphia (8-7 winners of Washington) in the wild-card race. The Washington Post is reporting that Washington manager Frank Robinson is on his way out, by the way.

4. Having Trouble Getting Any Traction Here. Now we swing our telescope away from the neighbor's bedroom window and point it toward the AL Central, where Detroit lost to Toronto 7-4, paving the way for the Twins to close in on ... oh no! Royals 6, Twins 4. Minnesota is one game back with four to play.

5. Presenting, An Actual Conga Line Circling The Bases. Whether the AL East race is over or not, a Yankees-Orioles game is always fun.

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