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News

Matthew Leach has worked for MLB.com since 2001 and was the site's Cardinals beat reporter from 2002-11.

  • June 28 10:26 AM ET

    Leach: Better contact no Smoak screen

    ATLANTA, GA - MAY 17: Justin Smoak #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays is congratulated by teammates after hitting a two-run fourth inning home run against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on May 17, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)Justin Smoak's 20 home runs have put him squarely in contention for a starting spot on the American League All-Star team. So much so that the Blue Jays are pushing a #SmoakTheVote campaign for the veteran first baseman. More» Smoak slugs solo homer, 20th of season
  • June 20 12:06 PM ET

    Scherzer elevates game with stellar slider

    Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer (31) delivers against the New York Mets during the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, June 16, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)How does the best pitcher east of Clayton Kershaw get better? Because Max Scherzer has done just that this year. More»Statcast measures Scherzer's wicked slider
  • June 06 10:00 AM ET

    Posey's productivity a product of patience

    San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) in the sixth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 23, 2017, in Denver. Colorado won 8-0. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Buster Posey has driven in a Giants teammate eight times in two months. He has not hit a home run with a runner on base this year. Does that mean that Posey has forgotten how to drive in runs? That he's somehow lost the clutch gene? Nope. It means he's not getting a doggone thing to hit with men on base. And unlike some hitters in those situations, he's taking his walks. More» Posey notches an RBI double to left field
  • May 23 2:01 PM ET

    No trouble with curve: Judge handling hook

    You may have missed it. No one could blame you if you had. But in the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium on Monday night, Royals pitcher Seth Maness did something unusual. He threw Aaron Judge a curveball, in the strike zone, and got away with it. More» Judge lines long RBI triple to deep center
  • May 16 10:00 AM ET

    Hard-hitting Tigers low on offensive luck

    If you're a Tigers fan who swears that your team has hit into some amazing bad luck this year, you're not wrong. By basically any measure, the Tigers have tattooed the ball this year. They just don't have the results to match. No team has hit into worse luck so far in 2017. More» Statcast analyzes Bradley Jr. robbing Miggy
  • May 02 1:13 PM ET

    Sale using finesse to rack up K's at rapid rate

    BOSTON, MA - APRIL 27: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox delivers in the first inning of a game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on April 27, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)A year ago, Chris Sale reinvented himself. A great deal was made of it. He pitched to contact, prioritizing efficiency over dominance. And it worked. He reached a career high in innings and saw his pitches per plate appearance drop. It lasted all of a year. Sale is back to blowing hitters away, and he's better than ever at it. More» Sale fans 10, holds Yanks to two earned runs
  • April 25 1:32 PM ET

    Thor, Aroldis, McCullers embrace change

    It's nearly as common a Spring Training refrain as the ubiquitous "best shape of my life," though it usually starts being uttered a couple of weeks later. More» Syndergaard fans Ozuna in the 2nd inning
  • April 18 1:18 AM ET

    Sano, Bundy, Ozuna lead early Statcast stars

    Here's a look at 3 players enjoying early-season breakouts, and what Statcast™ says about the abilities, rather than just the numbers. More» Sano connects for 440-ft. home run
  • February 28 4:17 PM ET

    Alderson talks baseball data at Sloan conference

    Sandy Alderson: "It's one thing to have the data. It's another thing to actually execute on the field level." (AP)Mets general manager Sandy Alderson emphasized collaboration and communication as the keys for incorporating new ideas like defensive shifts and catcher framing at the annual Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Saturday. More»
  • October 08 7:40 AM ET

    So, that was pretty great

    The best/most memorable/most compelling nine-inning games I’ve seen in person…   5. Tie: 2003 NLCS, Game 6 (Bartman), and 2004 NLDS, Game 3 (Lima Time) 4. July 28, 2004, Cardinals 10, Cubs 9 3. 2011 NLDS, Game 5 2. Tonight. 2013 ALDS, Game 3 1. 2006 NLCS, Game 7 More»
  • June 13 10:25 PM ET

    Reminiscing a bit

    I saw it noted on Twitter this afternoon that today is the 10th anniversary of one of the more memorable games I covered during my years on the beat. On June 13, 2003, Roger Clemens joined two very elite clubs by recording his 300th win and 4000th strikeout in the big leagues.   It was […] More»
  • April 01 8:25 PM ET

    2013 Predictions

    I already laid out my division/wild card/pennant winner picks for MLB.com, as did several of my colleagues. You can check those out here.   But I try to go into a little more depth here at the blog, so once again I’m giving more extensive picks in this space. Here are last year’s preseason predictions, […] More»
  • March 14 9:43 PM ET

    Spring Training, Day 18: And on that note, we cue the music

    Today was the last full day of my Spring Training 2013 odyssey, with a Braves-Cardinals game at Roger Dean Stadium. Tomorrow morning I fly back to NYC, where I’m told it’s still chilly.  It’s been a tremendously entertaining, if draining, three weeks, and it’s been great to be back at the ballpark. Whatever my job […] More»
  • March 14 2:47 AM ET

    Spring Training, Day 17: Back home again on Planet Jupiter

    So, somewhat appropriately I think, I’m back in Jupiter for the final stop of my 2013 Spring Training odyssey. This place really feels like home, which I guess makes sense given that I’ve lived more than a year of my life around here. I hit the Crazy Cuban for lunch and headed over to the […] More»
  • March 12 10:23 PM ET

    Spring Training, Day 16: No-hitter watch

    Exhibit 14,729 as to how Spring Training is different:  After five innings today, I took a look at my scorecard and said, “Oh, hey, the Cardinals don’t have a hit yet.” And then they got one, and that was that.  Seeing them next to each other, thinking about them on the same day, I was […] More»
  • March 11 9:49 PM ET

    Spring Training, Day 15: Space Ghost Coast to Coast

    Sometimes, I’m a 10 year old. I could come to Space Coast Stadium five times a year for the next 10 years, and I will never, ever, ever not chuckle and think of Space Ghost when I see the name. Then again, if you ever watched the old Space Ghost Coast to Coast show, you […] More»
  • March 10 9:12 PM ET

    Spring Training, Day 14: Morning comes early

    It wasn’t quite full daylight yet when I hopped in the trusty rental car for the trip from Greater Disneyburg to Lakeland, thanks to the time change. Not that I’m complaining, as I’m one who greatly appreciates extra daylight in the evening, but it was a bit odd. Everybody around the ballpark seemed to be […] More»
  • March 09 11:35 PM ET

    Spring Training, Day 13: Taco. In. A. Helmet.

    Today brought me to Port St. Lucie, home of the Mets and of the best concession item in the Grapefruit League: Taco in a Helmet. If you get to Port St. Lucie, just go get one. Thank me later. Crushed chips, cheese, spicy ground beef, lettuce, salsa, jalapenos and sour cream in a nice-sized helmet […] More»
  • March 08 11:31 PM ET

    Spring Training, Day 12: Paying the Wrench

    I was on Yankees duty today, but it was a very quiet day for the bunch of Bombers who took the field in Jupiter. Pretty much all of the big news was in Tampa, where Andy Pettitte threw and Derek Jeter took at-bats in a simulated game. Somewhat similarly, the biggest news for the Cardinals […] More»
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