The 88th annual mid-summer classic is in the books! The AL won, again, for like the 50th straight time on a Robby Cano homer in the tenth inning off of Wade Davis. It’s actually pretty wild, but after 88 games, the series between the AL and NL is tied 43-43-2. I guess that’s what happens when you put the best of the best on both sides of the field.
This year marked the first time since 2002 that the game didn’t “mean something.” Last off season commissioner Rob Manfred abolished the rule that gave the winning team home field advantage in the World Series. In all honesty, I loved that rule. I loved how the game meant something. I know the argument was that it was an exhibition, but it’s also the AL vs the NL so why not do something that brings a little extra to the game? I don’t know, the rule change didn’t crush me, but it did make me go “aww that kind of sucks.”
But I digress because last night’s game was certainly played with a large amount of intensity. That’s the thing about baseball. With the Pro Bowl, you can’t go hard because you don’t want anyone to get hurt. In the NBA All Star Game, it’s all about making highlight reel dunks and thus no defense is played and the game becomes a joke. With baseball, though, you can make highlight reel plays on both sides of the ball. If a pitcher is pumping 100 mph, that’s impressive. If a batter hits a ball 430 feet, that’s impressive. If a fielder makes a diving catch, that’s impressive. If an outfielder guns down a runner, that’s impressive. Yes, I’m biased because I love baseball, but think about it? What other sport do you get primetime highlight plays in EVERY aspect? I mean even a goddamn slide can make you go “holy shit!”
Now to the game. From a baseball perspective, really fucking impressive. Max Scherzer started for the NL and came out spitting fire. Guy is an absolute psycho and I love it.
He even struck out Aaron Judge when he pulled the string on him.
Chris Sale, the AL starter, whom I love, looked good. Not great, but threw two scoreless innings.
It was a relatively boring game, but the NL was threatening when Bettances lost the zone and threw not one, but TWO wild pitches. That’s got to be some kind of record. Bettances has been scuffling the last couple weeks with his control and he didn’t necessarily seem to fix those problems for the ASG. However, the AL got out of Bettances’ wild inning unscathed.
In the fourth came one of the best defensive plays of the game. With nobody out and Nolan Arenado on first, Ryan Zimmerman hit a deep fly ball to center. Arenado, trying to catch Mookie Betts off guard tagged from first. Ah, Nolan. You poor son of a bitch. You can’t get one past Mookie. Betts threw a strike to second and Arenado was out by about 20 feet.
In the 5th inning with Alex Wood pitching, that big mother fucker Miguel Sano singled to right right and drove in the game’s first run as Jonathan Schoop scored.
In the bottom of the 6th, the NL got that run back when Yadier Molina went big fly to right, hitting the first homer of the game (I had $10 on Carlos Correa hitting the first homer).
Really not much happened after that until the 9th. First off, Kenley Jansen is fucking really good. All he does is throw strikes and throw hard. After giving up a lead off single to Yonder Alonso, Jansen struck out the next three batters. Crazy to think he was a catcher like five years ago.
In the bottom half, Craig Kimbrel came in and was uncharacteristically wild. He just seemed like he couldn’t find it at first and that bastard Gary Sanchez even let a ball get by him to put the winning run on third base. But with sweet Swinging Michael Conforto up, Kimbrel sacked up and struck him out on pure cheddar cheese.
In the tenth inning, Wade Davis did Cubs things by giving up the go ahead homer to Robinson Cano. Ball was an absolute laser.
Andrew Miller finished it off in the bottom of the 9th and the AL won their 23rd All Star Game over the past 30.
Other things that happened:
Social media and interviews were big last night. You had Ken Rosenthal interviewing Jose Altuve before his first at bat, and A-Rod walking around the infield talking to everyone. Then during the game, we had in inning interviews with George Springer and Bryce Harper. I actually didn’t mind that. As long as it’s just for this game and they don’t start trying to do this for actual games, I’m good with it.
Players were also tweeting, instagramming, and likely snapchatting during the game. Nelson Cruz even brought his phone to the plate and took a picture with that fat bastard Joe West.
Again, this is fine too, as long as it’s just this game. Let’s not try to get too cute here guys.
All in all, it was another good game. I think the MLB did a great job putting this on and did an excellent job bringing in that Latin Miami flavor. Now there’s no baseball until Friday so we can just spend that time debating who the new face of baseball is!