Lyle Spencer has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2005, covering the Padres and Angels. He has covered Major League Baseball as a reporter and columnist since 1971.
|Sure, pitchers control a great deal of what happens in a baseball game, but they can't determine the outcome all by themselves. They need help from their teammates. Just ask Kris Medlen, Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale.
More» Medlen contributes with arm, defense and bat|
|Al Downing was a major factor in the Yankees' run to the 1963 AL title, 50 years ago. And he had a front-row seat as Dodgers' pitchers dominated the Bombers in a historic World Series.
More» Dodgers sweep Yankees in '63 Series|
|A day after Tuesday night's benches-clearing incident at Dodger Stadium, neither Los Angeles skipper Don Mattingly nor Arizona manager Kirk Gibson seemed prepared to offer or accept a binding truce.
More» Plunkings lead to benches-clearing fracas|
|The 2008 First-Year Player Draft helped the Giants set the foundation for two World Series championships in three years, delivering in Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford a pair of players who would become among the game's best.
More» Posey puts Giants on board with solo homer|
|Mike Brito, the scout who discovered Fernando Valenzuela more than a generation ago, saw his latest discovery debut on Monday night, perhaps beginning a new era of mania.
More» Puig doubles off Denorfia to cap debut|
|After a grand total of one game in the Major Leagues, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is already drawing comparisons to the likes of Roberto Clemente.
More» Puig singles in first for first hit of career|
|The Angels are 25-29, 8 1/2 games behind the front-running Rangers. As Mike Trout put it, beaming, "We're getting there." He's no grizzled veteran, but the kid knows that 54 games played means 108 remain -- and that's a lot of time to make up ground.
More» Frieri strikes out Hernandez to earn save|
|Jered Weaver was dealing again, perfect through four innings and rock-solid for six in a 4-3 decision over the Dodgers on Wednesday at Angel Stadium.
More» Weaver returns, hurls six great frames|
|If Dr. Robert Kerlan and Dr. Frank Jobe are the Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig of the sports medical profession, Dr. Lewis Yocum falls right in line as the fraternity's Joe DiMaggio: pure class, total professional, beacon of dignity.
More»Dr. Frank Jobe remembers Dr. Lewis Yocum|
|Set the table, clear it. Sweep and mop the floor. Whatever Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, in his hour of need, asks of Adrian Gonzalez, the first baseman seems happy to oblige.
More» Adrian goes 4-for-4, drives in a run in win|
|Adrian Gonzalez has seen a baseball season in ruins. He was in the middle of one in Boston at this time last year, before an August blockbuster deal sent him home to Southern California, a delighted Dodger. "This is not even close," Gonzalez said, as controversy continues to consume Don Mattingly's disappointing Dodgers.
More»Mattingly discusses his mindset as Dodgers skipper|
|When Mike Trout got off to a relatively slow start this year, there was a widespread feeling around the game that it was bound to happen, that he couldn't possibly live up to what he achieved in a 2012 rookie season for the ages.
More» Trout makes history, hits for cycle|
|The Angels and White Sox, two of the sport's heaviest disappointments through the first quarter of the season, are sharing Angel Stadium through Sunday, and both have reasons to believe there's light at the end of the tunnel.
More» Pujols cranks a two-run shot in the fourth|
|Wednesday's successful return from the disabled list of Zack Greinke may have been the final push the Dodgers needed to begin their climb up the standings after a disappointing start to the season.
More» Greinke on his return from the DL|
|The high-profile, high-payroll Dodgers are down, and their fans are out of sorts, if not hope. Perhaps they can take heart in history. There is this fascinating quarter-century anniversary matter that mystics, numerologists and eternal optimistics in the crowd should find illuminating.
More» Dodgers sweep Yankees in '63 Series|
|Mark Trumbo learned to adapt at an early age, and it has paid off handsomely in the years that have followed. He's used that skill to carve out an important niche in the Angels' lineup.
More» Trumbo chases down fly ball in right field|
|Under the firm hand of manager Buck Showalter, the Orioles are using the same formula that shocked all the critics last season: timely hitting, power, defense, adequate starting pitching and tremendous relief work. There's also that great intangible that simply defies quantification: chemistry.
More» McLouth hits two-run shot with Trout's help|
|There are Major League outfields that command more attention and significantly more income, but it would be hard to find a trio as productive as the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler and Michael Cuddyer over the opening month of the 2013 season.
More» Fowler brings back Gonzalez's home run|
|You don't win it all in late October, or contend, without a quality defender -- several quality defenders in most cases -- behind home plate. That applies for 162 games and whatever it takes to decide the World Series. But for one day in mid July, your priority is a man who can drive a ball out of the yard or off a wall serving as your catcher.
More» Posey knots the contest with a two-run homer|
|Spencer: Speed chills. It causes as much anxiety on a baseball field as rush-hour traffic or sirens. The game changes the instant a guy who can fly gets on base -- and even before that.
More» Jackson sets table to lead Tigers past Yanks|