The Closer: Yankees; Dangerous When Wounded

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Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Boston Pops. In the worst slaughter of a Becket(t) since 1170 in the Canterbury Cathedral, the Red Sox handed over first place to the Yankees after New York's 13-5 home win. Jason Giambi fought off a "stomach virus" to hit a three-run home run, and Andy Phillips also had a three-run blast as Josh Beckett took the loss. Mike Mussina (8-1) was the winner. Boston fans are wondering when the Yankees will get their regular lineup back so that the Sox can get back into first.

2. This Bold Renegade Carves A Z With His Blade. We have a lot of fun with the Cubs around here — seriously, how can you not? (Sorry.) — but Carlos Zambrano is mockery-proof. Zambrano took a serious run at the Cubs' first no-hitter since 1972, going 7 1/3 innings against the Astros before giving up an opposite-field single. Oh, and Zambrano also homered and drove in four runs in Chicago's 8-0 win. All in all a decent game for Z.

3. Junior Mint. It is our belief that Ken Griffey Jr. will play until he's 60, owing to all the time spent on the sidelines due to injury. He's like the collectible action figure that you never take out of the box. On Monday at New Busch, Griffey Isringhausened the Cardinals, hitting a three-run homer in the ninth to give the Reds an 8-7 win. He also had a solo homer earlier in the game, tying a major league record by homering in his 43rd stadium.


4. Dodgers Hoping Government Will Secure Our Borders Soon. The two dirtiest words the Dodgers have heard lately have to be: I defect. Alay Soler, who left Cuba on the "Unscheduled One-Way Ticket Plan" in November 2003, got his first win in the majors as the Mets cooled off the red-hot Dodgers 4-1. Soler allowed one run over seven innings.

5. Bird Watching; Ooh, There's An Orange-Crested Cabrera! Someone said that the Blue Jays are the best-hitting team in baseball, but the Orioles' Daniel Cabrera thought they said the best-hitting team in Canada, and so wasn't very impressed. The result was a three-hitter with nine strikeouts over in five innings, leading Baltimore to a 4-0 win.