The Closer: Tag, You're It

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Notes from a day of baseball:

1. See The Ball, Brandon. Be The Ball. Ty Webb once said: "A flute without holes, is not a flute. A donut without a hole, is a Danish." But Diamondbacks' pitcher Brandon Webb has more practical sports-related advice. On pitching to Barry Bonds, for instance: "He may have bad knees but he can still swing the bat. You just try to keep the ball down, and in the park." He did, and Arizona beat the Giants 5-4 8-2 on Sunday. Bonds was homerless, but did pass Babe Ruth; in career extra-base hits. He doubled in a run in the seventh for his 1,357th, moving past Ruth into sole possession of third place. By the way, regarding the photo here; we know it's a rundown, but Bonds is never going to remind us of Pete Rose, ever.

2. I'm Afraid It's Devil Rays Fever, Ma'am. There Is No Known Cure. Let's hear it for Tampa Bay, which has done a good job lately of not sucking, including a win over Curt Schilling and the Red Sox on Sunday, 5-4. Schilling (4-1) was bidding to become the third Boston pitcher to win five games in April, joining Pedro Martinez (2000) and Babe Ruth (1917), neither still with the club. People tend to forget that Ruth had two 20-win seasons as a pitcher, and didn't begin playing every day until his sixth season in the majors.


3. Meanwhile, in St. Louis ... The National League is finally catching on. It was the Washington Nationals, of all teams, that figured out that Albert Pujols must be pretty good, so hey, we'd better start walking him! They did on Sunday, four times. Didn't work though. The guy who hits behind Pujols, Jim Edmonds, had three RBI as St. Louis won 9-2. That set a franchise record for wins in April as the Cards moved to 17-8.

4. Sox It To Me, Baby. In Anaheim (they still play there, right?), the White Sox beat the Angels 6-5 for a sweep of the three-game series and Chicago's 17th win in April. Pablo Ozuna scored the winning run in the ninth on a wild pitch.


5. They're Grrrrrreat!. Kenny Rogers. Jim Leyland. Detroit Tigers. Not names one would expect to see steeped in glory, and certainly not all at the same time. But the Tigers are 16-9 after Rogers and Todd Jones combined on a two-hitter to beat the Twins 6-0. Science has indicated that Detroit finishing better than .500 could send the earth spinning off of its axis, so make sure you've got a warm coat.