The Early Lead: MLB Playoffs


Posted at 09:11 AM ET, 10/31/2013

World Series 2013: The future of the Red Sox, Cardinals rosters

The Red Sox have more impending free agents than the younger Cardinals.

By James Wagner  |  09:11 AM ET, 10/31/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:22 AM ET, 10/29/2013

World Series 2013: The mastery of Jon Lester

The left-hander has a career 6-4 record and 2.11 ERA in the playoffs, including a 1.56 ERA this postseason.

By James Wagner  |  09:22 AM ET, 10/29/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:30 PM ET, 10/28/2013

A wild World Series heads to Game 5

The World Series is certain to head back to Boston, but it’s hard to figure out anything else about it.

By Adam Kilgore  |  03:30 PM ET, 10/28/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:01 AM ET, 10/28/2013

Red Sox vs. Cardinals could come down to the last blunder

When Cardinals rookie Kolten Wong was picked off to end Game 4, it was just the latest mistake in a World Series that could be won by the team that makes the fewest of them.

By Lacy Lusk  |  10:01 AM ET, 10/28/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:46 AM ET, 10/28/2013

2013 World Series Game 4: Kolten Wong apologizes

St. Louis Cardinals second baseman is goat of the game on a walk-off pickoff. Yeah, you’ve never seen that before, either.

By Cindy Boren  |  08:46 AM ET, 10/28/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:01 PM ET, 10/27/2013

2013 World Series: A look at the Red Sox-Cardinals pitching matchups

After three games, a look back and forward at the pitching matchups.

By Harry Pavlidis  |  05:01 PM ET, 10/27/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:01 PM ET, 10/27/2013

World Series 2013: The Red Sox are in serious trouble

The Cardinals have a 2-1 series lead and the Red Sox send Clay Buchholz to the mound in Game 4.

By James Wagner  |  01:01 PM ET, 10/27/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:23 AM ET, 10/25/2013

World Series 2013: The Cardinals’ fire-breathing bullpen

The Cardinals’ bullpen, filled with power arms, dominated yet again in Game 2.

By James Wagner  |  09:23 AM ET, 10/25/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:13 PM ET, 10/24/2013

World Series 2013: Previewing Wacha vs. Lackey in Game 2

By Harry Pavlidis  |  04:13 PM ET, 10/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:21 PM ET, 10/24/2013

John Lackey’s long road back to the World Series

After a tumultuous recent past, John Lackey will return to the World Series for the first time since he won Game 7 as a rookie.

By Adam Kilgore  |  02:21 PM ET, 10/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:16 PM ET, 10/24/2013

Jon Lester Vaseline controversy a “non-issue,” Cardinals say (video)

St. Louis lodges no complaint over whatever might have been on the glove of Red Sox starter in World Series Game 1.

By Cindy Boren  |  01:16 PM ET, 10/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:46 AM ET, 10/24/2013

World Series 2013: Boston holds the defensive edge over St. Louis

The Cardinals were among the worst defenders in baseball this season and their lapses appeared in Game 1.

By James Wagner  |  09:46 AM ET, 10/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:28 AM ET, 10/24/2013

2013 World Series: Umpires overrule blown call by Dana DeMuth

Replay isn’t coming to the rescue until next year, which doesn’t help in Game 1 of Red Sox-Cardinals series.

By Cindy Boren  |  09:28 AM ET, 10/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:28 PM ET, 10/23/2013

World Series 2013: Pitching preview

Breaking down the Red Sox and Cardinals pitching staffs as Game 1 approaches.

By Harry Pavlidis  |  02:28 PM ET, 10/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:02 PM ET, 10/23/2013

World Series: Second basemen Dustin Pedroia, Matt Carpenter help drive Red Sox, Cardinals

Boston’s Dustin Pedroia and St. Louis’s Matt Carpenter are a pair of homegrown second basemen who are key cogs in their teams’ lineups for the World Series.

By Lacy Lusk  |  01:02 PM ET, 10/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:31 PM ET, 10/22/2013

Boston mayor hopes Red Sox win “World Series Cup”

Thomas Menino has had an amusing malaprop for each of the city’s pro teams.

By Cindy Boren  |  03:31 PM ET, 10/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:26 PM ET, 10/20/2013

Red Sox-Tigers: Miguel Cabrera and what could have been

The slugger was a shell of his superstar self in the playoffs because of injuries.

By James Wagner  |  03:26 PM ET, 10/20/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:59 AM ET, 10/18/2013

Play at the plate hits close to home for Red Sox’ David Ross, Tigers’ Alex Avila

Red Sox catcher David Ross and Tigers catcher Alex Avila have missed time with concussions. Thursday, they collided with each other.

By Lacy Lusk  |  08:59 AM ET, 10/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:18 PM ET, 10/15/2013

Dodgers vs. Cardinals: What’s wrong with a little Yasiel Puig flair?

The Dodgers rookie pimps a triple he thought was a homer and, of course, some are bristled by it.

By James Wagner  |  01:18 PM ET, 10/15/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:13 PM ET, 10/14/2013

Dodgers vs. Cardinals: St. Louis the model of consistency

The Cardinals have a commanding 2-0 lead on the Dodgers, and their model consistency has been on display.

By James Wagner  |  02:13 PM ET, 10/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:05 AM ET, 10/14/2013

Big Papi’s grand slam stars Torii Hunter and a Boston cop (video)

David Ortiz’s eighth-inning home run is just the beginning as Red Sox go on to tie series with Tigers.

By Cindy Boren  |  09:05 AM ET, 10/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:18 PM ET, 10/13/2013

Red Sox-Tigers: How much trouble is Boston in?

The Red Sox trail only 1-0, but with Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander looming, doesn’t it feel like more already?

By James Wagner  |  02:18 PM ET, 10/13/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:20 PM ET, 10/12/2013

Dodgers-Cardinals play at the plate reignites replay conversation

Players on both sides of Friday’s critical play at the plate hope next year’s replay rules would not reverse the call.

By Dave Sheinin  |  04:20 PM ET, 10/12/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 10/12/2013

Don Mattingly’s gaffe hurts the Dodgers in Game 1 loss

Don Mattingly’s decision to pinch run for Adrian Gonzalez was wrong when he made it and turned into a disaster.

By Adam Kilgore  |  10:00 AM ET, 10/12/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:03 PM ET, 10/11/2013

Los Angeles vs. St. Louis: Keeping dangerous Hanley Ramirez on the field

The Dodgers’ hot-hitting shortstop has been slowed by injuries all season, and he battles through them now in the playoffs.

By James Wagner  |  01:03 PM ET, 10/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:32 AM ET, 10/11/2013

Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera extinguish the A’s again

The A’s had a better regular season, but in Game 5 the Tigers had Justin Vernlander and Miguel Cabrera and the A’s did not.

By Adam Kilgore  |  07:32 AM ET, 10/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:02 PM ET, 10/10/2013

Tigers vs. A’s: Justin Verlander redux?

Justin Verlander’s home park is in Detroit, but he might be more comfortable at O.co Coliseum than anywhere else.

By Barry Svrluga  |  01:02 PM ET, 10/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:48 AM ET, 10/10/2013

NLCS: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals, a first look

The Cardinals' victory over the Pirates sets up a matchup between two of baseball's best brands.

By Barry Svrluga  |  08:48 AM ET, 10/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:50 PM ET, 10/09/2013

The Cardinals and Pirates are here to stay

No matter which team goes home tonight, the Pirates and Cardinals both have bright futures.

By Adam Kilgore  |  04:50 PM ET, 10/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:32 AM ET, 10/08/2013

Clayton Kershaw on short rest? The Dodgers made the right decision

Despite widespread criticism, the Dodgers made the right choice in starting Clayton Kershaw on three days’ rest.

By Adam Kilgore  |  07:32 AM ET, 10/08/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:19 PM ET, 10/07/2013

Athletics vs. Tigers: Who plays for Oakland, anyway?

The lesser known Athletics, who often rely on platoons, face the Tigers in a game the East Coasters are more able to see.

By James Wagner  |  12:19 PM ET, 10/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:32 AM ET, 10/07/2013

Rays vs. Red Sox: David Price may have thrown last pitch for Tampa Bay

Economic realities may force the Tampa Bay Rays to trade ace lefty David Price this winter.

By Dave Sheinin  |  07:32 AM ET, 10/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:14 PM ET, 10/06/2013

Braves vs. Dodgers: Atlanta's dominant bullpen

The Braves have baseball's best bullpen and closer, so expect a heavy dose of them for the rest of the series.

By James Wagner  |  03:14 PM ET, 10/06/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:51 PM ET, 10/05/2013

Rays vs. Red Sox: Did Wil Myers change Game 1?

The ALDS opener between the Rays and Red Sox ended in a rout, but an argument could be made that it turned on one play.

By Barry Svrluga  |  01:51 PM ET, 10/05/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:57 AM ET, 10/04/2013

Dodgers vs. Braves: Kershaw proving (again) value of a true ace

There remains no single greater October weapon than an ace starting pitcher at the height of his powers. The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw looked the part in Thursday night's 6-1 win over the Braves.

By Dave Sheinin  |  11:57 AM ET, 10/04/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:27 AM ET, 10/04/2013

Pirates vs. Cardinals: The playoff majesty of Carlos Beltran

The outfielder's playoff numbers are historic.

By James Wagner  |  08:27 AM ET, 10/04/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:49 PM ET, 10/03/2013

Braves vs. Dodgers: Atlanta is not a scary team -- just a very good one

The Atlanta Braves may be the least scary 96-win team ever.

By Dave Sheinin  |  03:49 PM ET, 10/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:02 AM ET, 10/03/2013

Tampa Bay Rays: Red Sox ready for ALDS matchup

Joe Maddon’s plucky squad comes through with yet another victory on the road.

By Cindy Boren  |  11:02 AM ET, 10/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:11 PM ET, 10/02/2013

Cleveland Indians host the Tampa Bay Rays in AL wild-card game

The Indians are playing their first postseason game since 2007.

By James Wagner  |  06:11 PM ET, 10/02/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:37 AM ET, 10/02/2013

The complex case of Marlon Byrd

The story of Pittsburgh's first playoff win in 21 years is simple, but the man who sparked it is anything but.

By Adam Kilgore  |  07:37 AM ET, 10/02/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:01 PM ET, 10/01/2013

Pittsburgh Pirates host the Cincinnati Reds in NL wild-card game

By James Wagner  |  06:01 PM ET, 10/01/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)