Leading up to his retirement last season, one thing that Derek Jeter consistently said he was looking forward to was enjoying a summer without a schedule, offered the flexibility to see what life would be like away from the ballpark after 20 years in the Majors.
As we delve into week eight of the MLB Power Rankings presented by The All-New Chrysler 200, the list of "surprising" teams is dwindling.
An emphatic eight-run fourth inning and Chad Bettis' dominant mound performance were more than enough for the Rockies in their 11-2 win over San Francisco in Sunday's series finale at Coors Field.
This was the celebration that Bernie Williams put off for nine years, unsure about embracing what it would represent. To join the past Yankees greats in Monument Park and take his uniform number out of circulation demanded an acknowledgement that his playing days were over, and that was a difficult dream to part with.
Before James Shields threw a single pitch Sunday, he'd already been staked to a 4-0 lead, thanks to Justin Upton's grand slam in the top of the first inning.
Paul Goldschmidt hit an RBI single and a two-run home run Sunday to back Jeremy Hellickson and lead the D-backs to a 4-3 victory over the Cubs and take the series.
Justin Upton erupted Sunday, in a positive way for the San Diego Padres. Upton hit a grand slam and drove in six runs as the Padres broke loose, backing unbeaten James Shields in an 11-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. A day after being ejected for arguing balls and strikes, Upton tied his career high for RBIs.
Trying to get Paul Goldschmidt to talk about himself is a futile exercise. ''Best player in the game,'' Hellickson said. Goldschmidt hit his second home run in three days and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Sunday to win the three-game series.
Bryce Harper continues to be a game-changer for the Nationals as he drove in two runs in a 4-1 victory over the Phillies on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park. The Nationals improved their record to 26-18.
When Michael Wacha is on the mound, Matt Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals like their chances. Wacha pitched seven sparkling innings for his seventh straight win, and the Cardinals stopped a three-game losing streak with a 6-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. Carpenter, who hit a two-run homer off Yordano Ventura (3-4) in the sixth, said the NL Central leaders believe they are going to win when Wacha (7-0) takes the mound.
Two innings in a row, new Miami Marlins manager Dan Jennings went to the mound to switch pitchers. Orioles manager Buck Showalter wasn't impressed by the moves. ''They used what, three guys three days in a row out of the bullpen to get it done?'' Showalter said.
Indians manager Terry Francona isn't picky when it comes to winning. ''We'll take anything,'' Francona said after Cleveland's sixth straight win. Instead of facing ace Johnny Cueto, who missed the start because of a sore right elbow, the Indians went against rookie Raisel Iglesias, making his fifth major league appearance.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister has a plan ready for outfielder Josh Hamilton when he joins the team in Cleveland on Monday.
Preston Tucker's second game-tying homer in four days and Jason Castro's go-ahead two-run single powered six unanswered Astros runs off Anibal Sanchez and the Tigers' bullpen, salvaging a four-game series split for Houston with a 10-8 win in Sunday's finale at Comerica Park.
Michael Wacha allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings and Matt Carpenter delivered a two-run homer to lead the Cardinals to a 6-1 victory over the Royals on Sunday, preventing Kansas City from sweeping the three-game I-70 Series.
Francisco Liriano capped off a dominant series for Pittsburgh's starting rotation in a 9-1 win Sunday at PNC Park, striking out 12 and allowing only one run over six innings. Gerrit Cole, A.J. Burnett and Liriano became the first trio of Pirates starters to compile three straight double-digit strikeout games since Sept. 11-12, 1969. It's only the third time since 1900 that Pittsburgh has put together such a stretch.
Masahiro Tanaka threw 31 pitches in the Yankee Stadium bullpen on Sunday afternoon, and if everything goes well in his second Minor League rehab start this week, he could return to big league duty.
Bryce Harper showed Sunday afternoon that he doesn't have to hit the long ball to look like "The Natural." Harper drove in two runs and made a great defensive play in right field in a 4-1 victory over the Phillies.
In a season of costly defensive blunders, the Indians were glad to be the beneficiary of some shoddy glove work by their opponent in Sunday's 5-2 victory over Cincinnati, which clinched a series sweep. Three errors were made by the Reds infield, all of which led to Indians runs.
With a homer off Mets ace Matt Harvey on Saturday and another in Sunday afternoon's 9-1 victory, Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is in a groove.