Mike Bauman has been a national columnist for MLB.com since 2001 and has covered Major League Baseball for more than three decades.
|It is true that the Braves have gone from first place to the margins of the National League Wild Card race due to a numbing offensive slump. But for the longer-term future of the Atlanta franchise, there will be the usual solace: A core of pitching strength that should be around for many seasons to come.
More» Teheran goes eight, allows no earned runs|
|Here's another rookie Major League manager who is not in the least overmatched by the task of managing a genuine big league contender. Matt Williams of the Washington Nationals fits that description
More» Williams delivers speech after Nats clinch|
|The Nationals are back on top. Two division titles in three seasons, in this time of parity, should not be scoffed at, diminished or in any way belittled.
More» Desmond smashes a two-run shot|
|The Atlanta Braves are going bigger than just a new stadium with SunTrust Park. They are undertaking a "ballpark village" concept, with their new park the centerpiece of a development that will include restaurants, hotels, retail outlets, office space, entertainment venues and residential areas.
More»Schuerholz discusses fan experience at SunTrust Park|
|The Washington Nationals are within one well-placed victory of a division title. Their triumph in this matter is, by all that is logical, a question of when, not if. The real question about the Nats' short-term future would seem to be whether they can finish with the National League's best record, thus qualifying for home-field advantage in two rounds of the postseason.
More» Desmond's strong throw gets the final out|
|At least most of the 45,205 in attendance got their Hank the Dog bobblehead. The doll became the consolation prize at Miller Park Saturday night. This may not have been the original intention, but it was the actual result.
More» 'Hank the Dog' joins the broadcast booth|
|This season has not been a time for celebration in Cincinnati. But upon reflection, there is reason to believe that this year can be safely regarded as an aberration, not a trend.
More» Corcino fans four in first career start|
|Giancarlo Stanton ought to win the 2014 National League Most Valuable Player Award. This thing you hear about, that he should get the MVP if the Miami Marlins qualify for the postseason, is a completely arbitrary distinction. That would be an obvious plus for Stanton's candidacy, but it shouldn't be a prerequisite for the award.
More» Stanton slaps homer, ties Marlins' record|
|In recent days, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has been issuing a call for his veteran players to step up, deliver, do something -- anything -- to lift the club out of its slump. That call has not been answered, returned or, for that matter, heeded.
More» Roenicke discusses pitching, loss to Marlins|
|Since 2011, the Cardinals have been the best September team in baseball. St. Louis has a 58-29 record in September over that period, following Sunday's 9-1 win over Milwaukee. If a team carried that pace over an entire season, it would go 108-54.
|One way or another, Lance Lynn wins. There was never a better example of both the improvement and the results than Saturday night at Miller Park in a pivotal game between Lynn's St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers.
More» Lynn tosses six frames, collects 15th win|
|At this point, Mike Fiers deserves a key to the City of Milwaukee. Or at the very least, a key to a brewery.
More» Fiers hurls 6 2/3 frames of two-run ball|
|The outcome of the Cardinals-Brewers contest Thursday night was, based on recent results, exactly what you would have expected.
More» Bourjos saves a run with a great catch|
|With uncertainty surrounding Anibal Sanchez's return from a strained right pectoral muscle, the Tigers were in serious need of another starter to give them a fighting chance at success in that rotation spot. Kyle Lobstein filled that role splendidly on Thursday.
More» Lobstein's parents take in his first start|
|Another ritual in the march of Derek Jeter's final season occurred Wednesday night at Comerica Park as the Tigers honored the retiring Yankees shortstop. The ceremony begged the question: Who is going to take Jeter's place as baseball's primary role model, as the game's unofficial, but leading ambassador to the rest of humanity?
More» Tigers present Jeter with gifts before game|
|The uncertainty of Anibal Sanchez's return to the Tigers' rotation is going to place a premium on the work of Detroit's other established starters. Fortunately for the Tigers, Rick Porcello is now solidly in that category.
More» Porcello allows two runs over eight innings|
|It is the year of the catcher in the National League Central. Whatever happens the rest of the way with a division title and a Wild Card spot or two up for grabs, the catchers in this division will be a major part of the storyline. There is no kind of catching shortage in four NL Central locales, and that's with the premier all-around catcher in the game, Yadier Molina, currently on the disabled list.
More» Martin slugs three-run shot in the 5th|
|Clint Hurdle firmly believes that his Pittsburgh Pirates can reach the postseason for the second straight year. The way the Pirates have played the last two nights against division-leading Milwaukee, there was no reason at all to dispute Hurdle's position.
More» Alvarez belts his second homer of the game|
|Life changes. Baseball does, too. Or at least it did in this case. The current system with 10 postseason spots available has been one development that has been good for both the sport of baseball and the business of baseball.
More»Take a look back at the 1997 World Series|
|Baseball, as a competitive proposition, has been headed in the direction of inclusion for some time. Still, it would be difficult to grasp a postseason that contained neither the Red Sox nor the Yankees. You take a notion like this and it doesn't really fit into any conventional baseball source material. Maybe a better fit would be "Ripley's Believe It or Not."
More» Girardi on tough loss, offensive struggles|