As season heads into home stretch, Braves don't look so invincible

On June 10, the Atlanta Braves beat Pittsburgh 13-7 to move into a first-place tie in the National League East. They built a six-game lead by the All-Star break and on July 15, their lead was 7 1/2 games, largest of the season. A second consecutive division title seemed inevitable. Now, as baseball enters the final six weeks, the Braves face a new reality: They ... read more

Indians hope rotation depth will tilt balance their way in AL Central

The Indians have won three consecutive American League Central titles on cruise control. There wasn't a need to win a critical series in the final weeks. In 2016, Cleveland beat second-place Detroit by eight games. In 2017, the Indians beat the second-place Twins by 17 games. Last season, they finished 13 games ahead of the Twins. Any wonder then that Indians pitcher Mike Clevinger said ... read more

Mets' resurgence adds plot twist to wild card scenarios

On July 12, the first day after the All-Star break, the New York Mets lost 8-4 to Miami and their record dropped to 40-51, making them a team that most thought would hit the trade market as a seller as the July 31 deadline arrived. Pitchers Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard were going to be on the move. That would give the Mets a chance ... read more

Nationals not ready to embrace computer-generated strike zone

The Atlantic League, an independent baseball league that has a three-year contract with Major League Baseball to experiment with new ideas, says that the computer-generated strike zone has been so successful, the system will be used the rest of the season. The computerized system, called the Automated Ball-Strike System (ABS), will be used in the eight-team league, which includes the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in ... read more

Nationals have chance to duplicate 2005 Astros' remarkable turnaround

As Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt studied videos of Cardinals batters in preparation for Game 6 of the 2005 National League Championship Series - the biggest game in Houston franchise history - he got an unusual interruption. Astros owner Drayton McLane came up to Oswalt and promised to buy him a bulldozer if he could pitch the team into the World Series for the first time. ... read more

Singleton recalls All-Star Game that ended work stoppage

In the summer of 1981, Orioles outfielder Ken Singleton was putting up All-Star numbers in the season's first half. Then he spent a month wondering if the season would be completed. Singleton was hitting .408 on May 9 after getting three hits for the Orioles in a game at Texas. He was on a streak of getting hits in 13 of 16 games when the ... read more

With Midsummer Classic approaching, answers to baseball's pressing questions

The season's halfway point has passed. Rosters for the All-Star Game are set and the game will be July 9 in Cleveland, a city that has hosted four other games, the first in 1935. With that, here are answers to the game's most burning questions. Q: Which team is the biggest surprise? A: That would be Texas in the American League West. The Rangers are ... read more

Braves may lead NL East, but can they sustain extended run of success

After a 4-3 extra-inning win Sunday, the Braves lead the Nationals by 8 ½ games in the National League East. So why does it seem the Nationals have the advantage as the season's second half approaches? It's because the Nationals have a more reliable rotation. The Braves have been white-hot during June, but they are doing it with an offense that averages more than seven ... read more