|Every April, we see a number of teams get off to a surprisingly good start and we're all left to wonder which of them are for real. Let's take a look at five clubs that have exceeded expectations to some degree thus far.
More» Familia closes Mets' 11th straight victory|
|Having too many good players for too few positions is a problem any manager would like to have, but Don Mattingly has shown a talent for getting players to buy in.
More» Guerrero hammers a solo homer to center|
|In his first week in the big leagues, Kris Bryant is still searching for his first home run. But he has quickly demonstrated that he's far more than just the home run hitter he's known and expected to be.
More»CHC@PIT Bryant just misses homer with long foul|
|Twenty years ago Sunday, the Rockies unveiled Coors Field and proclaimed their identity. And Dante Bichette, who weeks earlier questioned if he would even return to the Rockies in 1995, had the final statement.
More» Bichette hits a walk-off in Coors opener|
|GM Dayton Moore's patience paid off with the Royals' first pennant in 29 years, and his young club should be competitive for many years.
More» Royals presented with four GIBBY Awards|
|Steve Blass was a World Series hero for the Pirates in 1971 and the runner-up for the NL Cy Young Award in '72. But after inexplicably losing control of his pitches, he was out of the game after '74.
More»Blass takes a look back at the 1971 World Series|
|Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez came to the Red Sox with enormous talent and impressive credentials this offseason, but patriarch David Ortiz keeps telling them they can do better. Ortiz, 39, is the longest-tenured Boston player. He says it's important, and to a degree, his responsibility to make certain newcomers fit in.
More»Ortiz, Ramirez and Sandoval are Boston's three amigos|
|The breathtaking catch made in center field by Gold Glove Award winner Juan Lagares on Wednesday night was, as some Mets players said, inspirational. Well, it inspired this -- a position-by-position "best of" for Mets defenders, covering 53-plus seasons. Offense has no place in this evaluation.
More» Rose gives love to MLB.com on Lagares' grab|
|When a team is playing baseball the way the Mets are playing it right now, the whole thing begins to feel magical. Guess what? That's exactly what it is. There's just no other explanation.
More» Familia fans C. Johnson to end the game|
|It's easy to forget a big first put up by sluggers Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada at the start of the Yankees' championship season in 2000. On April 23, the pair became the first switch-hitting teammates in baseball history to both homer from both sides of the plate in the same game.
More» Bernie, Jorge homer from both sides of plate|
|The only drawback with being as great as Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner is found in the implausibly high standards they set for themselves. Living up to that greatness is an ongoing challenge. Neither lefty was at the peak of his powers on Wednesday night at AT&T Park, but each made progress in that direction before the Giants seized a 3-2 decision from the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth inning on Joe Panik's winning sacrifice fly.
More» Bumgarner strikes out six over 6 1/3 innings|
|After 33 seasons as a Hall of Fame manager, Tony La Russa said this week that his nearly one full year as a club executive has been "eye-opening."
More»La Russa, Stewart, Baer speak at SABR conference|
|A week ago, Russell was still a full-time shortstop whose Major League path appeared blocked. Now, he's a big leaguer. Things can change in a hurry in this game. Just ask a Cubs team that has quickly become legit.
More» Russell grounds out softly in first at-bat|
|Neither Ron Roenicke nor Doug Melvin is in danger of dismissal. But owner Mark Attanasio has frequently stated his goal of having not just a competitive team, but a team that regularly reaches the postseason. If this stretch of almost unbroken futility goes on much longer, it is easy to imagine Attanasio finding a different perspective.
More» Roenicke on offense clicking, pitching depth|
|Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw face each other on the mound on Wednesday night, but also at the plate. The Giants ace is 1-for-7 lifetime against his Dodgers counterpart, who has gotten the better of MadBum, going 3-for-5.
More»NL MVP Kershaw set to square off with WS MVP MadBum|
|It took 14 games -- nearly 10 percent of the season -- but the Reds offense final broke through as we knew it would, launching five home runs in a 16-run onslaught against the Brewers.
More» Bruce drills a grand slam to right-center|
|Rockies starters Jorge De La Rosa and Tyler Matzek's back-to-back efforts are symptomatic of a burden that is being placed on a bullpen that has the potential to be so good if it gets a chance to catch its breath. The relievers are panting right now.
More» Matzek induces bases-loaded double play|
|It's a question every baseball fan has asked, an argument every baseball fan has had: Who threw the hardest ever? The new baseball documentary "Fastball," which premiered Monday night at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, made an attempt to answer that question.
More»Jonathan Hock discusses his film on MLB Central|
|Statcast makes its 2015 debut on tonight's MLB Network Showcase game between the Cardinals and Nationals, and the technology is going to arm fans, scouts, executives and coaches alike with a deluge of data that helps them better understand and evaluate what is taking place on the field.
More» Hamilton swipes third|
|Reds manager Bryan Price did something on Monday that managers have done hundreds of times through the years: He lost his temper, letting loose a world-class string of profanities, because he was upset about a report that he felt had been helpful to opponents of his club. But no one is at fault here. That's the bottom line. Not the reporter. Not Price. One was doing his job, the other was expressing his displeasure at that job.
More» Price breaks down 6-1 loss to Cardinals|
|The Braves are here. Has anyone noticed? And among those who are aware of their presence, are there some who are passionate -- one way of the other -- about the "A" team? Does anyone here hate them, fear them, like them, root for or against them? Does anyone here in the Big City or in the big Citi give a wit that the second-place team in the National League East is in town for three nights to engage the first-place New York Mets?
More» Niese holds Braves to one run over 6 2/3|
|If you're inclined to write off the San Francisco Giants two weeks into the regular season, here's some free advice from your friendly columnist: You should know better.
More» Giants presented with World Series rings|
|Trevor Bauer, 24, is starting to reward the Indians for giving him new life after the Diamondbacks traded him only 1 1/2 years after selecting him with the third overall pick in the 2011 Draft.
More» Bauer tosses seven scoreless frames|
|To this point, the Mets have performed like the 2002 Angels and last summer's Giants, using a dozen papercuts to bleed their opponents. But another downpour might undermine this team. Those with Mets memories may recall a sequence of injuries that occurred in the ugly summer of 1992.
More» Mets discuss D'Arnaud and Blevins' injuries|
|In his last two starts, Anthony DeSclafani has halted three-game and four-game Cincinnati losing streaks. The four-game skid came to a halt Monday night, when the rookie right0hander pitched eight shutout innings in the Reds' 6-1 victory over the Brewers.
More» DeSclafani throws eight scoreless innings|
|Carlos Rodon sticks his toe in the water tonight. He'll dive in soon, and if the splash is as big as it could be, the White Sox might become a serious threat to the Tigers and Royals in the AL Central.
More»Jim Callis on Carlos Rodon's call to the Majors|
|As the Astros celebrated the Astrodome's 50th anniversary, it was a reminder of baseball finally arriving in Houston, and the history of the franchise from some of its legends.
More» Former Astros legends on Astrodome's history|
|It's tough enough for any prospect to come up and make his big league debut. But expecting Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki to be a capable stand-in until Travis d'Arnaud returns, however, is entirely realistic.
More» Plawecki hits a solo shot to left field|
|Kris Bryant begins his career as a third baseman. He's likely to end it as an outfielder. But what is really fascinating to consider is this: Could he spend much of it as an almost one-of-a-kind weapon -- a cleanup hitter who is strong enough in the field to move with ease between third base and the corner-outfield spots, allowing manager Joe Maddon tremendous flexibility?
More» Bryant robs Norris of a hit with diving grab|
|Washington Senators fireballer Walter "The Big Train" Johnson struck out 3,509 batters in a 21-year Major League career that spanned from 1907-27. He summed up his prowess on the pitchers' mound succinctly: "You can't hit what you can't see." The new documentary, "Fastball," which premiers Monday night at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, proves Johnson was more right than he ever could have imagined.
More»Director Jonathan Hock, fans share favorite moments|