Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports
30mEddie Matz

Nationals clinch NL East -- now comes the hard part

Since coming to D.C. in 2005, the Nationals have made the postseason twice. Both times, they got bounced by underdog teams in the NLDS.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
2hDan Arritt, Special to ESPN.com

Dodgers' Vin Scully relishes his long goodbye

As he prepares to call his final game at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, Vin Scully looked back fondly over the final season of his 67-year career.

AP Photo/Seth Wenig
18mRoger Rubin, Special to ESPN.com

If Matz pitches again in '16, it will be in relief

If Steven Matz, rehabbing from a shoulder impingement, is able to pitch for the Mets again this season, if will probably be in relief, manager Terry Collins said.

Mets rally comes up just short (0:41)
Cruz blasts monster HR to left (0:23)
Trumbo's HR pads Orioles' lead (0:20)
Darvish K's nine A's in Rangers' win (0:34)
Getty Images
4hSarah Langs & Michael Bonzagni, ESPN Stats & Information

Inside the Royals' big ninth-inning rally

Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez allowed five runs to the Royals Saturday, tied for his most runs allowed in his career.

Vin Scully honored by Dodgers (1:20)
Dave Reginek/Getty Images
14hMark Simon

Mets' hidden MVP: Their pitch framing

Mets catchers have been maligned for their minimal offensive production this season. But there is one important stat in which they are excelling.

Icon Sportswire, USA TODAY Sports
1dAndrew Marchand and Mark Simon

Rookie of the Year debate: Sanchez vs. Fulmer

Michael Fulmer seemed a shoo-in as the AL's top rookie. Then the (late) summer of Gary Sanchez began. So is Sanchez good enough? We pit the Yankees catcher against the Tigers righty.

Freeman extends hit streak to 27 with double (0:25)
Magic Johnson calls Dodger baseball synonymous with Vin Scully (2:07)


Arash Markazi ESPN Senior Writer 

Dodger Stadium is chanting, "Let's go Padres!"

Arash Markazi ESPN Senior Writer 

Dodger Stadium erupted when they saw the score of the Giants-Padres game. It's now 6-6 after the Giants were up 6-0.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Noah Syndergaard has been slotted into the rotation on Tuesday. So it's Bartolo Colon then Noah Syndergaard the final two days of the regular season in Philly if needed.

David Schoenfield SweetSpot blogger 

What a brutal two days for an Astros bullpen that has been pretty solid. After Ken Giles gave up six runs on Friday, five relievers combined to give up nine runs over the final two innings to blow a 4-1. Just an unacceptable two days and three straight losses to the Angels means ground lost that the Astros may not be able to recover from.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

They battled! The Mets came up short in a 10-8 loss to the Phillies, but they nearly pulled off the improbable. Once down 10-0, the Mets placed the tying runs on base in the ninth before Lucas Duda popped out and Travis d'Arnaud grounded out to end it. The Nationals officially clinched the NL East with the Mets' loss. But they had to wait a while to celebrate after winning against the Pirates earlier in the night.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Pinch hitter Jay Bruce snapped 0-for-15 drought with a pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning on Saturday. It was Bruce's first career pinch-hit homer. The slumping Bruce has been out of the starting lineup six times in seven games this week.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

How rare is overcoming a 10-run deficit, which the Mets are bidding to do on Saturday night? Well, not that rare. The Padres led the Mariners 12-2 after five innings on June 2, only to lose 16-13 at Petco Park in San Diego this season.

Arash Markazi ESPN Senior Writer 

Vin Scully was nice enough to share his cake with the rest of the media.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Gavin Cecchini's first major league hit came on an RBI double in the sixth inning Saturday against Joely Rodriguez that pulled the Mets within 10-5. Cecchini entered midway through the game after the Mets fell behind by 10 runs.

David Schoenfield SweetSpot blogger 

The Mariners had a chance down 3-2 in the ninth after Miguel Sano made an error to put runners on first and second with no outs, but Kyle Seager grounded into a 5-3 double play and Adam Lind flew out as the Mariners went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. A chance to gain a game on Detroit was missed ... a big miss.

ESPN Stats and Information  

The Orioles' Mark Trumbo hit his 45th home run of the season. Entering today, Trumbo had 1.2 WAR and a 115 OPS+. Before this season, the lowest WAR by a 45-HR hitter was 1.5 by Jose Canseco in 1998, and the lowest OPS+ was 114 by Canseco, in that season. In other words, Trumbo's home runs are carrying almost all of his value as a player.

Arash Markazi ESPN Senior Writer 

Clayton Kershaw will be on the mound for the Dodgers tonight with the NL West possibly on the line.

David Schoenfield SweetSpot blogger 

Who is the next closer on a wild-card contender to have a catastrophic blow-up? On Friday, it was the Astros' Ken Giles, who gave up six runs in the ninth. Today, it was the Tigers' Francisco Rodriguez, who gave up five in the ninth. With the Blue Jays shutting out the Yankees again, it's now looking like the Tigers, Orioles, Mariners and Astros battling for one spot.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Talk about a painful case of strep throat. The Mets scratched Noah Syndergaard because of the throat ailment. And replacement Sean Gilmartin -- the 12th starting pitcher used by the Mets this season -- was an absolute flop in his place on Saturday against the Phillies. Gilmartin departed with two outs in the first inning after opposing pitcher Alec Asher delivered a two-run single on pitch No. 39 that gave Philadelphia a 5-0 lead. It was the shortest non-injury start by a Mets pitcher this season. Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese both departed after recording only one out earlier this season due to injuries.

Christina Kahrl MLB Staff Writer 

From Dan Arritt on the Dodgers beat tonight: The Dodgers can clinch the NL West with a victory Saturday night against the visiting Rockies and a loss by the Giants in San Diego in a game that's set to start 30 minutes before the first pitch in L.A. "We might have one eye on the scoreboard," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before the game. "With that, our guys have done a great job still focusing on pitch-to-pitch and the game we're playing."

Christina Kahrl MLB Staff Writer 

From Tommy Rancel at Red Sox-Rays: The hot corner has been a cold spot for the Red Sox, but a familiar face could be back to help in time for the team's postseason run. Pablo Sandoval took part in pre-game workouts on Saturday, including batting practice and fielding ground balls at third base. The 30-year-old has been a disappointment in his time with Boston, but with the club's third basemen hitting just .244/.310/.389 on the year with a .676 OPS in September, the Red Sox are likely to keep their options open as they look toward October.

Jim Bowden ESPN Senior Writer 

To be clear, there is no chance that Pablo Sandoval is on the Red Sox post-season's rosters despite reports of the contrary. Just not enough time to get competitive at bats to contribute at a level better than the players on their present roster.

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

Rockies All-Star 3B Nolan Arenado, who is a native of Southern California and grew up a Dodgers fan, sent the bat with which he hit his 40th HR of the season to Vin Scully hoping he will sign it.