Mike Bauman has been a national columnist for MLB.com since 2001 and has covered Major League Baseball for more than three decades.
|Yes, the Washington Nationals had lost five straight games, their longest losing streak of a season otherwise characterized by success. But that streak was nearly certain to stop Friday night when Max Scherzer took the mound against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. You could not forget the last time he had pitched here, little more than one year ago. It was near-perfection, nobody reaching until the seventh inning when Carlos Gomez managed a little opposite-field flare that fell unattended. Scherzer didn't give up any more hits, and struck out 16.
More» Scherzer strikes out 10 over six frames|
|Ned Yost, manager of the defending World Series-champion Kansas City Royals and the American League in the upcoming All-Star Game, has lived the home-field advantage in the last two World Series.
More»Catch the latest #ASGWorthy action around the league|
|It can be difficult to speak of a bargain free-agent pitching contract when the market is made up of nine-figure deals. But even with that disclaimer, the Detroit Tigers' deal with free agent starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, relative to the rest of the high-end pitching market, looks like time and money very well spent.
More» Zimmermann strikes out five over eight frames|
|The rest of Major League Baseball has limited options on this issue, but the available evidence says that it is advisable to play the Kansas City Royals anywhere but Kauffman Stadium.
More» Yost on the offensive outburst vs. the Tigers|
|This is the kind of stuff that baseball has to offer: two terrific young pitchers showing their stuff and putting up zeros on a hot, hot night. It is not officially summer yet, but the game time heat index was 99 degrees at Kauffman Stadium on Friday night. The pitchers involved brought their own heat; Yordano Ventura of the Royals reaching 99 mph, Michael Fulmer of the Tigers touching 97.
More» Ventura tosses 6 1/3 scoreless innings|
|The competition in the American League Central was going to be fierce in any case. But the whole situation became more difficult for the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night. The Tigers lost right fielder J.D. Martinez when he suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right elbow hitting a wall while chasing a fly ball in the right-field corner at Kauffman Stadium in the second inning. According to Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, Martinez is expected to be out four to six weeks.
More» Orlando triples, J.D. Martinez leaves game|
|Zach Davies, who started the season in Triple-A, has essentially become the ace of the Brewers pitching staff. He showed why Sunday, beating the Mets and Steven Matz
More» Davies strikes out Cespedes on foul tip|
|Before Saturday, In their five games against the Milwaukee Brewers this season, the New York Mets had given up a total of 10 runs.
|Kelly Johnson's value cannot be measured in numbers alone, although two numbers will help.
More» Johnson records double in return to Mets|
|While youth was being served and the future was being planned through the 2016 MLB Draft on Thursday night, the New York Mets were putting their present in the hands of a 43-year-old man.
More» Colon holds Brewers to one run over seven|
|Way up on the mutual respect meter we find two managers; Bob Melvin of the Oakland Athletics and Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers.
|For the A's season to move in the right direction, the starting pitching will have to improve. This is not asking for a miracle, but it is asking for a change.
More» Manaea throws out Hill at home|
|Ordinarily, winning two out of three on the road is a cause for rejoicing, or at least taking a relaxing, deep breath. But for the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park this week, winning two out of three from the Brewers was actually a small slump. After prevailing in the first two games of the series, the Cardinals lost Wednesday, 3-1.
More» Garcia strikes out Maldonado looking|
|Cards fans sang the blues when Jason Heyward departed for the Cubs and understandably so. But Stephen Piscotty is having an All-Star season for St. Louis.
More» Piscotty singles to score Diaz in 1st|
|This was much more Cardinal-like. Carlos Martinez, who in five previous May starts was 0-5 with a 6.84 earned run average, was exactly what the Cardinals wanted him to be Monday, as he shut out the Brewers for eight innings with a powerful, dominating performance.
More» Martinez dominates over eight scoreless|
|There is nothing more to be done about the first 46 games of the season. But you had to like what manager Paul Molitor said in regard to Miguel Sano: "It's a tough game. He's kind of learned that."
More» Sano crushes a two-run dinger to left|
|The Kansas City Royals are in a good place, and we're not talking about third in the AL Central.
More» Royals break out the bats in the 4th inning|
|Can the Royals succeed while being last in the American League in innings pitched by starters?
More» Volquez fans six over 6 2/3 frames|
|When a team struggles to an 11-33 start, the conventional move -- the convenient, conventional move -- would be to dismiss the manager. This is not happening with the Twins, nor should it.
|There are no sure things with three-fourths of the baseball season remaining. But when it comes to the Chicago Cubs, there are few uncertainties. The Cubs have had some recent difficulties, dropping two out of three to the Milwaukee Brewers and losing five of their past eight. But this comes under the heading of "you can't win them all."
More» Fowler starts the game with a long ball|