Matthew Leach has worked for MLB.com since 2001 and was the site's Cardinals beat reporter from 2002-11.
|As baseball has changed over the past half-decade or so, it seems that the formula for winning in October may have changed, as well. And if that is in fact the case, then the best example is the American League champion Royals.
More»MLB.com on Royals' three-headed monster in bullpen|
|The best/most memorable/most compelling nine-inning games I’ve seen in person… 5. Tie: 2003 NLCS, Game 6 (Bartman), and 2004 NLDS, Game 3 (Lima Time) 4. July 28, 2004, Cardinals 10, Cubs 9 3. 2011 NLDS, Game 5 2. Tonight. 2013 ALDS, Game 3 1. 2006 NLCS, Game 7 More»|
|Yes, offenses are scoring fewer runs and hitting fewer home runs. But there's no single explanation for the recent downturn. Several factors, including the rise of hard-throwing young hurlers, bullpen specialization and a change in offensive philosophy, are at play.
More» Chapman strikes out Lowrie for the save|
|Matt Harvey traded his Doc Gooden impersonation for a Doc Halladay one on Wednesday night, and it suited him just fine. Harvey pounded the strike zone and let the Rockies get themselves out en route to the first complete game and first shutout of his already remarkable big league career.
More» Collins on Harvey's first career shutout|
|Right-hander Jenrry Mejia has stepped up alongside fellow phenoms Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler to give Mets fans reason to be excited on a regular basis.
More» Mejia holds Rockies to one earned run|
|Here's what you need to know about the Yankees' acquisition of Alfonso Soriano: The veteran outfielder was immediately written into Friday's starting lineup against the Rays, batting cleanup and playing left field.
More»MLB.com weighs in on Yanks acquiring Alfonso Soriano|
|General managers whose teams are battling against each other on the field, are shopping for the same players off it. As the Trade Deadline approaches, that competition for talent only heats up.
More» Peavy, Flowers on win, trade rumors|
|The first-place Braves refuse to make the kind of run that would put the division away. All the while, the Nationals and Phillies refuse to make them pay for it.
More» Simmons cranks leadoff homer for early edge|
|For win-now teams like the Yankees, Nationals, and Angels, building for 2016 isn't an option. But it's equally difficult to justify acquiring rental talent when the odds against playing in October are so long. With all that in mind, here's a look at some of those big-money teams that are underperforming.
More» Joba retires Melky to earn first 2013 save|
|We're not naming the team of the first half, nor of the second half. We're combining the two and attempting to name what we think will be the best full-season squad at the end of the year.
More»MLB.com predicts the All-2013 team|
|The Chevrolet Home Run Derby is that rare All-Star event that many fans don't want their favorite players to participate in. Not because they don't enjoy watching, but because of a nagging fear that somehow it could lead to diminished second-half performance.
More» Cespedes crushes one to the third deck|
|MLB.com columnist Matthew Leach concedes that there are arguments against Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig's inclusion on the National League All-Star team. There just aren't many that are especially convincing.
More» Breaking down the 2013 NL Final Vote race|
|As the 30th anniversary of the infamous Pine Tar Game approaches, George Brett serves as the Royals' hitting coach, and thus the topic came up with his team's return to the Bronx. He embraces the memory, fully aware that it could be much worse.
More» George Brett and the pine tar incident|
|The season is more than half over, and the Royals still need another hot streak or two to put themselves in really good position. But they've gotten close enough that when and if that next surge does come, they can get right into the division race.
More» Gordon's double gives Royals three-run lead|
|However you view the All-Star Game -- as a showcase for the game's stars or a hard-fought contest for home-field advantage in the World Series -- Yasiel Puig should be on the Senior Circuit's roster.
|The midway point of the season has arrived and among the things we have learned are: the Pirates are for real, struggling teams are getting hot, Clayton Kershaw is historically great, last year's phenoms were no one-year wonders and strikeouts are in.
More» Martin hammers a walk-off single in the 14th|
|The season's first no-no came on Tuesday night, thanks to the man who delivered the last one in 2012: Homer Bailey. There's a certain feeling of "about time" going around, as though we're entitled to seeing these wonders regularly. We're not.
More» Bailey sits down Giants to complete no-hitter|
|Buster Posey is a truly great player. He was a deserving National League MVP a year ago, and if he gets the All-Star Game start, he'll be worthy of the honor. But Yadier Molina is simply better, and deserves it even more.
More» Molina clocks a two-run homer in the sixth|
|The Blue Jays hit a little bump on Monday, when their winning streak came to an end after 11 games, but the overall trajectory for them is up, up, up. And while going two weeks without losing is not the kind of thing that's sustainable, a lot about what the are doing can, in fact, continue.
More» Blue Jays set record with 11th straight win|
|Within the next couple of weeks, clubs will ask themselves some difficult questions, as they decide whether to buy or sell before July 31. After that, the next question for buyers is what is they should pursue. So here's a look at five contending clubs and what they might target during the next five weeks.
More» Scherzer tops Red Sox to improve to 11-0|
|Baseball's best division thus far is also its most competitive. The American League East has lived up to preseason expectations, with all five teams in the hunt and four of them over .500. Over the coming weekend, the race could get a little shakeup.
More»Toronto bouncing back from tough early season|
|I saw it noted on Twitter this afternoon that today is the 10th anniversary of one of the more memorable games I covered during my years on the beat. On June 13, 2003, Roger Clemens joined two very elite clubs by recording his 300th win and 4000th strikeout in the big leagues. It was […] More»|
|I already laid out my division/wild card/pennant winner picks for MLB.com, as did several of my colleagues. You can check those out here. But I try to go into a little more depth here at the blog, so once again I’m giving more extensive picks in this space. Here are last year’s preseason predictions, […] More»|
|Today was the last full day of my Spring Training 2013 odyssey, with a Braves-Cardinals game at Roger Dean Stadium. Tomorrow morning I fly back to NYC, where I’m told it’s still chilly. It’s been a tremendously entertaining, if draining, three weeks, and it’s been great to be back at the ballpark. Whatever my job […] More»|
|So, somewhat appropriately I think, I’m back in Jupiter for the final stop of my 2013 Spring Training odyssey. This place really feels like home, which I guess makes sense given that I’ve lived more than a year of my life around here. I hit the Crazy Cuban for lunch and headed over to the […] More»|
|Exhibit 14,729 as to how Spring Training is different: After five innings today, I took a look at my scorecard and said, “Oh, hey, the Cardinals don’t have a hit yet.” And then they got one, and that was that. Seeing them next to each other, thinking about them on the same day, I was […] More»|
|Sometimes, I’m a 10 year old. I could come to Space Coast Stadium five times a year for the next 10 years, and I will never, ever, ever not chuckle and think of Space Ghost when I see the name. Then again, if you ever watched the old Space Ghost Coast to Coast show, you […] More»|
|It wasn’t quite full daylight yet when I hopped in the trusty rental car for the trip from Greater Disneyburg to Lakeland, thanks to the time change. Not that I’m complaining, as I’m one who greatly appreciates extra daylight in the evening, but it was a bit odd. Everybody around the ballpark seemed to be […] More»|
|Today brought me to Port St. Lucie, home of the Mets and of the best concession item in the Grapefruit League: Taco in a Helmet. If you get to Port St. Lucie, just go get one. Thank me later. Crushed chips, cheese, spicy ground beef, lettuce, salsa, jalapenos and sour cream in a nice-sized helmet […] More»|
|I was on Yankees duty today, but it was a very quiet day for the bunch of Bombers who took the field in Jupiter. Pretty much all of the big news was in Tampa, where Andy Pettitte threw and Derek Jeter took at-bats in a simulated game. Somewhat similarly, the biggest news for the Cardinals […] More»|