Mike Bauman has been a national columnist for MLB.com since 2001 and has covered Major League Baseball for more than three decades.
|Two decades into the Wild Card, baseball's balance of competition has been good enough to sustain a system that now makes room for five postseason teams in each league. The Wild Card races are dramatically different in each league, but they are each serving the purpose of the Wild Card concept.
More» Banister on win over the Orioles|
|When you pitch really well, hitting can become a distinctly secondary segment of baseball. This was a very good thing for the Angels on Thursday, when Matt Shoemaker tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings in a 2-0 victory over the Tigers at Comerica Park.
More» Shoemaker on strong outing, Angels' win|
|There was obviously disappointment that the no-hitter was not achieved. But this was still a night of triumph for Verlander.
More» Ausmus on Verlander nearly tossing no-hitter|
|For those who spent the last month asking the question: "The Angels have to be better than this, don't they?" In Tuesday night's 8-7 win over the Tigers, yes, they were better. They weren't close to perfect, but they did generate considerable offense and they received some invaluable work from their bullpen. An emotional outburst from starting pitcher Jered Weaver seemed to help more than it hurt.
More» Weaver lets frustration loose in dugout|
|The Cardinals, the Pirates and the Cubs, in order of their current standing, have all been playing well and at this point, the only drawback would be that one of them will be eliminated, and thus short-changed, in the Wild Card playoff game.
More» Bryant talks about the Cubs' recent success|
|The Cardinals are on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated, which is just about the last place Mike Matheny wants them to be.
|When the Giants and the Cardinals play, you have two National League gold standards on the field at once.
More» Molina's homer lifts Cardinals over Giants|
|The performance of the St. Louis Cardinals' pitching staff has been historically good. The Cardinals have a team earned run average of 2.58. The earned run average for all of Major League Baseball is 3.87.
More» Lynn fans six, holds Giants to two runs|
|The St. Louis Cardinals now have an entire outfield on the disabled list. But they also have the best record in the Major Leagues. There aren't too many clubs that can pull off that kind of contrast.
More» Piscotty drives a triple to center field|
|As Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig worked diligently on the issues of diversity and inclusion. He initiated the Civil Rights Game. He pushed for the retirement of Jackie Robinson's No. 42 throughout baseball. He urged and prodded and eventually improved baseball's industry-wide record on minority hiring. Now, as Commissioner Emeritus, Selig is still working from the same belief system, still trying to bring about positive change.
More»Bud Selig accepts Long and Meritorious Service Award|
|Doug Melvin leaves the Milwaukee Brewers in much better shape than the team was in when he came on board. This is one measurement of success. It's not the flashiest, the gaudiest or the most adoring -- but in this case, it will stick.
More»McCalvy on Melvin stepping down as Brewers GM|
|If the Toronto Blue Jays reach the postseason, all 30 Major League teams will have qualified for the postseason in the 21st century. And only the fact that this is mid-August keeps that "if" from turning into a "when."
More»MLB Now on the major moves the Blue Jays have made|
|The season is far from over, but to date, the Cardinals stand on their own merit as another exceptional team in the long and proud history of the St. Louis franchise.
More» Carpenter gives Cards lead on three-run shot|
|Since May 31, the four best records in the National League have all been recorded by teams from the Central division.
More» Carpenter smacks a two-run shot off Young|
|In the 20 years of the expanded postseason playoffs, 17 World Series winners have either been division leaders or in position for a Wild Card berth on July 31, the non-waiver Trade Deadline.
More»GM Corner with O'Dowd on MLB Tonight|
|No pennants are won in December and January, and yet we all gear up every offseason to pretend exactly that can occur.
More» Murphy discusses the win, Kemp's improvement|
|The 2015 Milwaukee Brewers were 7-18 when Ron Roenicke was fired as manager. They are now 34-34 with Craig Counsell as manager.
More» Counsell discusses Jungmann, sweep of Bucs|
|The worst-case scenario for a three-game series would normally be losing all three games. In the Pirates' case, it's losing three games and having the shortstop leave the field on a cart.
More» Mercer carted off field after injuring leg|
|A two-game losing streak coming out of the All-Star break hardly qualifies as tough times. But this one could work as strange times.
More» Throwing error allows McCutchen to score|
|Since May 9, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been the best team in the Major Leagues, going 40-20. And they believe there is still room for improvement.
More»Cutch, Polanco give Bucs back-to-back walk-off wins|