Mike Bauman has been a national columnist for MLB.com since 2001 and has covered Major League Baseball for more than three decades.
|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|
|With little more than two weeks remaining until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, potential buyers appear to outnumber potential sellers by a landslide margin.
More» Hamels blanks Braves over seven innings|
|If there aren't any others like Gordon populating the Kansas City roster, neither is the cupboard bare in the spare outfielder department. The Royals will go with a platoon in left field, with left-handed hitting Jarrod Dyson getting the larger portion of playing time and Paulo Orlando starting against left-handed pitchers.
More» Dyson turns two with over-the-shoulder grab|
|This is revisionist history. But perhaps in this case it might also be improved history.
More» Ty Cobb|
|The short-term future for the Braves may be a bit uncertain. But the long-term future could be both a lot clearer and a lot better. They are already much better than many expected, and the fundamental factor in their success has been a rotation comprised of four 24-year-olds and one 22-year-old.
More» Banuelos beats Brewers for first career win|
|Ordinarily, splitting a four-game series at home would not be cause for rejoicing. But the Royals' weekend split with the Twins was not an ordinary case.
More» Gordon makes diving grab, robs Plouffe|
|The Minnesota Twins have surprised some people with their performance this season. That performance figures to become even better now. On Saturday, Ervin Santana returned to the Twins after an 80-game suspension for his use of a performance-enhancing drug. If Santana pitches to his career norms, he'll be a big help.
|The Royals are getting every other team's best game, best shot, best effort. So the Royals have to dig deep for victories, just as they did Friday night in a 3-2 walk-off win over the Twins at Kauffman Stadium.
More» Royals win after Cain ruled safe at home|
|Before Thursday night's game, Miguel Sano was asked repeatedly what his goal was for his Major League debut. His answer never really varied by more than a few words. "Try to get a win tonight," Sano said.
More» Sano beats out grounder for first MLB hit|
|There are valid reasons why the Minnesota Twins are in second place in the American League Central rather than fifth. One of those reasons was on display Saturday at Miller Park.
More» Perkins forces Gennett to ground out in 9th|
|Paul Molitor returned to Milwaukee on Friday night, still a winner in the standings and still suitably grateful for his experiences with the Brewers.
More» Molitor on return to Milwaukee as a manager|
|Among the shrines at which I no longer worship, we find run differential. I lost my faith in this statistical denomination in 2007. This was when the D-backs ended the regular season with a run differential of minus-20.
More» D-backs sweep Cubs, advance to NLCS|
|Late Saturday night, questions were being asked about the apparent disappearance of the Detroit Tigers offense. But on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the Bronx, what once was lost was rediscovered, in a very large way.
More» J.D. Martinez belts three long balls|
|The Yankees had Old-Timers' Day on Saturday and then proceeded to play as though this was 1927.
More» Yankees score five runs in the 3rd inning|