AP Photo, Getty Images

An amazing, astounding, awesome April

The Astros are struggling. The NL West is too. But the story, besides Trevor Story, in April of 2016 is that Chicago has been our kind of baseball town.

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Cubs-Pirates rivalry has picked up in intensity

The race for the National League Central could start this week as the Cubs and Pirates continue the rivalry that reached a new level in last year's wild-card game.

Will Cubs-Pirates bad blood continue tonight? (0:29)
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Diary of Myles Thomas: 'Urban and Eddie'

In the latest installment of our 1927 Yankees diary, Myles Thomas describes the unique relationship between a pitcher with a terminal heart condition and a team mascot whose journey to the majors can only be described as Dickensian.

AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt
33mTony Blengino

Can Tigers' Zimmermann maintain '16 success?

Does Jordan Zimmermann's hot start have staying power? Former MLB exec Tony Blengino tells a story of when he first scouted Zimmermann and looks deeper at the Tigers starter's stellar numbers.

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Clayton Kershaw takes matters into his own hands

Clayton Kershaw was equally determined and dominating while striking out 14 Padres in a complete-game gem that helped the Dodgers snap a six-game losing streak.

Dodgers know how to have some fun (0:16)
Hammel looks to continue hot streak on Monday Night Baseball (1:53)
Harper gets the golden sombrero (0:28)
Trumbo swings at a pitch that hits him (0:33)
Ongoing existence of PEDs makes everyone a suspect (0:53)
OTL: More than a game: Osama Bin Laden killed (5:14)
AP Photo/Pat Sullivan
2dMark Simon

Astros problems in 2016 are plentiful

Poor pitching across the board and a lack of offensive production at a couple of spots in the lineup have made for a very frustrating season.

Kurkjian: Mattingly did the right thing pulling Conley (1:02)


Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

Joe Maddon's T-Shirt Collection - All sales benefit his RESPECT 90 Foundation: "The Process is Fearless", "Embrace the Target", "Do Simple Better" and Busch Stadium favorite "Try Not to Suck"

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Ben Zobrist has never played at PNC park. He came here with the Rays in 2007 but before taking the field Joe Maddon informed him he was being sent down.


MLB ? @mlb

Your AL and NL Pitchers of the Month: Jordan Zimmermann and Jake Arrieta.

MLB Power Rankings

Four of the top five teams come from the National League. How high did the White Sox climb? Rankings

Getty Images, USA TODAY Sports

Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

Reigning MVP Bryce Harper has been named NL Player of the Month for April. The Nats slugger finished the month tied for first in RBI's (24), was second in homers (9), extra-base hits (14), slugging (.714), and OPS (1.121), and was tied for third in steals (5).

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

After plenty of rain lately in Pittsburgh AccuWeather forecast calls for a clear evening for Game 1 between the Cubs and Pirates on Monday. Game time temp should be around 66 degrees.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Jason Heyward is getting the night off in the series opener between the first place Cubs and second place Pirates on Monday. Heyward went 0 for 17 on the just completed home stand. He's healthy but might need the breather. Matt Szczur starts in his place in right field while Kris Bryant is in left. Tommy La Stella gets another start at third base.

What to make of Puig's 1st month of season

Yasiel Puig has shown a renewed dedication to making things right on and off the field with the Dodgers, Doug Padilla writes. Finding balance

David Zalubowski/AP Photo

Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

Manny Machado has been named AL Player of the Month for April. The Orioles slugger either led the league or tied for the lead in hits (33), extra-base hits (17), total bases (64), and was second in average (.344) and OPS (1.061). In the field, the 23-year old former Platinum Glove winner didn't commit an error at third base until the final day of the month.

Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

Bad news for the Baltimore Orioles: Shortstop J.J. Hardy is headed to the 15-day disabled list with a hairline fracture of his left foot, and is expected to miss about six weeks. The three-time Gold Glover is one of only four major-league shortstops without an error so far this season. The O's are expected to recall utility man Ryan Flaherty from Triple-A Norfolk to fill Hardy's roster spot. Manny Machado will likely slide over to shortstop with Flaherty getting the majority of the action at third base.

Jayson Stark ESPN Senior Writer 

The Phillies & Cardinals play tonight in St. Louis. Amazingly, the Phillies (15-10) have a better record than the Cardinals (12-13). Last time that happened: The legendary Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS

Jim Bowden ESPN Senior Writer 

JJ Hardy out 6-8 weeks with left foot fracture leaving us with the obvious question....have the Orioles called the Braves on Erick Aybar yet?

David Schoenfield ESPN Senior Writer 

Adam Wainwright and his 7.16 ERA take the mound tonight for the Cardinals. One thing to watch: Is he getting any swings and misses? Of 100 qualified starters, Wainwright (91), Michael Wacha (96) and Mike Leake (100) all rank in the bottom 10 in miss rate. Those three have combined for a 5.32 ERA.