SweetSpot

Stanton's HBP shows the danger of baseball
Former major infielder Jeff Huson once said this to my ESPN colleague Tim Kurkjian about facing Randy Johnson: "What was the worst thing that Michael Jordan could do to you?

Five things we learned Friday
1. James Shields delivers a gem.Shields has often been mocked for his "Big Game" nickname, but if the past two months are any indication, he might have earned the right to put it on the back of his baseball card.

Giancarlo Stanton still has shot at MVP
Giancarlo Stanton leads the National League in both home runs and RBIs, both by sizable margins -- five more homers than Anthony Rizzo, who is currently out with a back injury (and nine more than the No.

Jason Heyward, stealth MVP candidate
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Here are the National League leaders in Wins Above Replacement, via Baseball-Reference.com:Clayton Kershaw: 7.3Jason Heyward: 6.3Giancarlo Stanton: 6.

Five things we learned on Monday
1. The Angels need Bartolo Colon.Journeyman left-hander Wade LeBlanc, replacing injured ace Garrett Richards in the rotation, was shelled in a 7-1 loss to the Marlins, giving up six runs and getting knocked out in the fourth inning.

Watch out for these spoilers
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Let's take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to discuss some of the teams on the fringes of the playoff races or those that have already made their October reservations at their favorite golf courses.

Nationals' multiple mistakes prove costly
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The Marlins’ comeback to walk off against the Nationals on Monday was one of those happy reminders that you really do have to play the games. With a Miami win expectation that FanGraphs pegged at one or two percent with the Nats up 6-0 after six innings, this is a game the Nationals have to deliver on if they’re ever going to put the Braves away in the NL East race.

Video chat: Power Rankings
Eric Karabell and David Schoenfield answered your questions about this week's Power Rankings.

McGehee's change at the plate working
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When Tim Lincecum hung a slider in the zone like it was a piņata, Miami Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee didn’t just call it candy, he took it yard … for his second home run of the season, breaking a 58-game homerless streak.

Most important NL players in second half
OK, we're already a couple of days into the second half of the season, which actually begins well past the actual halfway point of the season, but here are the key players to watch for each National League team.

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