Reviewing the 85th All-Star Game

Wow. That was fun, right? With the 85th MLB All-Star Game in the books, let’s get to looking at all the fun stats of the night and the good, the bad, and the quiet players.

As a Tigers fan: let’s hear it for Cabrera hitting the home run and Scherzer getting the win. And Kinsler striking out against Kimbrel. 

As an American League fan: yahoo!

Now here are some my favorite random stats:
  • Only three NL pitchers allowed hits, only 2 (Wainwright and Neshek, both Cardinals) allowed runs. 6 AL pitchers allowed hits. Neshek leaves the game with the loss and an ERA of 54.00 after entering the game with a .70 ERA, best in NL relievers.
  • Only Sox gave up runs for the AL (Jon Lester, Red; Chris Sale, White). Sale also hit the only batter of the game (Chase Utley).
  • Jeter, Trout, and Cabrera combined for the cycle.
  • 5 Cubans played in this game.
  • Neither Adrian Beltre, Todd Frazier, nor Jose Altuve had at-bats, Kurt Suzuki did not have a plate appearance. 
  • Koji Uehara did not throw a ball.
  • The Padres and Rays’ representatives did not play; the only 2 teams not to be represented with game action.
  • The Cubs went 0-2 with 2 K’s. The Mariners and Orioles went 0-4 with 2 K’s. 
  • The Brewers went 4-7 with a run and 2 RBIs. 
Now on to more individual efforts…

The Good:
Other than Trout (2-3, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, MVP), Cabrera (1-3, HR, 2 RBI), and Jeter (2-2, 2B), many other players showed the country why they deserved to be an All-Star. 
  • Jonathan Lucroy: The Brewers catcher filled in for the injured Yadier Molina and proved why he should have started in the first place. Hitting .315 through 88 games for first place Milwaukee, Lucroy batted 8th for the NL and slapped a pair of doubles to both power alleys, one off of Jon Lester and the other off of reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer. Fellow starting Brewer Aramis Ramirez collected 2 hits in 3 at-bats. 
    Courtesy of MLB on Facebook.

  • The Dodgers pitchers: Clayton Kershaw, taking a 41-inning scoreless streak into the game, pitched a perfect inning in the 2nd, throwing 12 pitches and striking out Josh Donaldson. Zack Grienke followed his footsteps in the 4th and struck out 2 in a perfect inning. 
    Grienke in the 4th inning. Courtesy of MLB on Facebook. 

  • The Braves: Kimbrel struck out the side (did we expect anything else?), though he did allow a baserunner on teammate Freddie Freeman’s error (tough error to take, the ball was a missile off the bat off Alexei Ramirez). Freeman then redeemed himself with a base hit and great stretch to rob Michael Brantley of a hit.
    Courtesy of the Braves on Instagram.

  • Glen Perkins: The hometown closer pitched a perfect 9th to battery mate Kurt Suzuki, a nice gesture by John Farrell to give the home crowd a good one to end on. Perkins got out Miguel Montero, struck out Josh Harrison, and then retired Charlie Blackmon on an easy grounder to the right side to assure AL victory and home field advantage. He’s my fantasy closer for a reason, people!
  • Jose Altuve: The deserving AL starter at 2nd base didn’t have an official at-bat but did record a sac fly and a nice play to throw out Dee Gordon at first. Gordon, known for relentless speed, softly batted a ball towards second base. Altuve ranged to his right, made a nice backhanded play and threw off balance to nab Gordon by a step and keep his threat off the basepaths. 
    Altuve congratulated in the AL dugout after his sac fly and only plate appearance. Courtesy of MLB on Facebook. 

The Bad
  • Yasiel Puig: I know I’ve said I’m not a Puig fan, but I can’t help but feel bad a little bit for him during his first All-Star break. On Monday night at the Home Run Derby, he failed to hit a ball over the fence and was eliminated in the first round of play. The Cuban defector couldn’t wake up from the nightmare, striking out three times (King Felix, Scherzer, Darvish) in the All-Star Game and misplaying a fly ball off of the bat of Mike Trout that resulted in a triple for the eventual MVP. Granted, the sun was right in his face and I think that he thought he had a beat on it, but the ball sailed over his glove, ricocheted off the wall and centerfielder Andrew McCutchen had to come over to throw it in. 
  • Robinson Cano: Reunited with former teammate Derek Jeter up the middle, Cano played respectable defense but was a non-threat at the plate, striking out twice (once against a 56-foot Wainwright breaking ball) and leaving two men on. 
  • The Oakland offense: The A’s had more representatives than anyone else (4 hitters, 2 pitchers) and while Sean Doolittle and Scott Kazmir both pitched scoreless innings, the Oakland batters were pretty quiet.  Considering Oakland’s game and 59 wins come from OBP and situational hitting, it’s not a shock that we didn’t see any fireworks from the green and yellow. They are 9th in the AL in team average but 2nd in runs, so they win as a team – but not as individuals. Derek Norris, Brandon Moss, Josh Donaldson, and Yoenis Cespedes combined to go 1-7 with 3 K’s. 
  • The Cubs offense: Both Castro and NL vote-in winner Anthony Rizzo came on to bat in the top of the 8th. Both struck out without taking a ball.
The Silent
With Derek Jeter overshadowing a lot of the game (rightfully so), many players went unnoticed, especially in the late innings. The Padres and Rays didn’t even get to see their reps play, so I guess this is better than nothing. (?)
  • The Dbacks: Goldschmidt got the start at first, and went 0-3 with a K and left two men on base. Not only that but he swung very early in the count and was out before we realized he was up. Miguel Montero did the same thing, coming on to catch in the bottom of the 8th and having a very quick at-bat in the top of the 9th.
  • Tony Watson: 1 pitch, 1 out, 1 All-Star appearance.
  • The Royals: Starter Salvador Perez played 3 innings and called a good game for Hernandez, Lester, and Darvish. He also weakly grounded out to Aramis Ramirez off of Clayton Kershaw. Greg Holland also came in and pitched a perfect inning with a strikeout, but since Fox was interviewing AL manager John Farrell at the time, he got no recognition. 
  • The Orioles: Adam Jones fouled out against Kershaw and struck out later, Nelson Cruz struck out against Kershaw and popped out later. Again, very fast at-bats and they were out before they were in. 
It was an awesome All-Star Game – I enjoyed every minute of it! Trout deserved the MVP with his two extra base hits, though I was puzzled that Jeter didn’t get it when last year Rivera earned MVP for pitching a 1-2-3 8th inning at Citi Field. Not my place to argue – it was definitely one to remember. Thanks for reading! 

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