The American League defeated the National League 5-3 in the 85th MLB All-Star Game. This night was mostly about the final ASG of Derek Jeter’s career. Jeter led off for the AL squad to a standing ovation from the crowd, and NL starter, Adam Wainwright, at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This means that if the Detroit Tigers reach the World Series, they will have home field advantage.
The American League got off to a quick start in this ASG. Felix Hernandez surrendered an infield single to the NL leadoff batter and reigning NL MVP, Andrew McCutchen who then stole 2nd, but then struck out Yasiel Puig and Troy Tulowizki before retiring Paul Godschmidt to end the first.
The AL then put up a 3 spot in the first off of the NL starter, Adam Wainright, with a double from Jeter, a triple from Mike Trout, and a home run from Miguel Cabrera (proving Cabrera is the superior athlete and deserved the MVP’s, even though Trout won the All-Star Game MVP).
There has been some speculation that Wainwright grooved the pitch (and some reports saying he did), but in an All Star Game, I have no problem with it. Look at the rest of the sports’ All Star Games and see the amount of defense played in those games and remember that it’s an All Star Game. Later in the game, Wainwright said that it was his sense of humor being taken the wrong way, either way, I don’t care.
The NL chipped away with 2 runs in the top of the 2nd off of Boston Red Sox starter, Jon Lester. Aramis Ramirez singled and Chase Utley and Jonathan Lucroy hit back to back doubles which cut the AL lead to 3-2.
The top of the 4th brought us the final curtain call of Derek Jeter’s All Star Game Career. All of the players took the field and when the commercial break finished and play was about to begin, Alexi Ramirez went out to shortstop giving Jeter his moment to leave his final ASG and a very nice curtain call which seemed to be the way Jeter wanted to go.
The NL squad scratched across another run in the 4th to tie the game off of the Final Vote winner in the AL, Chris Sale. Utley got on base for the 2nd time in the game with a walk in front of Lucroy who doubled for the 2nd time driving home Utley for the 2nd time.
Max Scherzer then came on for the top of the 5th inning and had a very Max Scherzer-esque outing. He threw 18 pitches, 11 of them strikes, surrendered 1 hit, and struck out Puig and Paul Godlschmidt.
The AL re-took the lead in the bottom half of the inning, putting Scherzer in line for the win, exactly like a true Scherzer outing. Derek Norris and Alexi Ramirez hit back to back singles to left field in front of a Trout double and Jose Altuve sacrifice fly to make the game 5-3.
Scott Kazmir and Koji Uehara combined to shutout the NL side in the 6th. If you were only listening to the Fox Broadcast, you would have missed that due to the Derek Jeter interview which is a little bit of a shame because Kazmir’s story is one really worth telling.
Francisco Rodriguez set down the AL side down in the bottom half of the 6th without surrendering a run. Greg Holland returned the favor in the top of the 7th with a perfect inning. Holland’s inning was countered with a shutout inning from Craig Kimbrel. Sean Doolittle and Fernando Rodney combined to shutout the NL in the 8th inning. Tony Watson and Aroldis Chapman returned the favor in the bottom half.
This set up a really nice moment for the 9th inning. With the game in Minnesota, AL manager John Farrell set up a great moment. Stillwater, Minnesota native and Minnesota Twins closer Glen Perkins got to close this game with his battery mate Kurt Suzuki behind the plate. Perkins set down the NL in order and got the save at home.
The Detroit Tigers were well represented in this version of the mid-summer classic. Miguel Cabrera batted cleanup and finished the night 1 for 3 with the 2-run homerun in the first. Max Scherzer looked good in the 5th as he struck out two and got the win. Victor Martinez did not play of course because of his side injury. Ian Kinsler got into the game in the bottom of the 7th with the not so enviable task of facing Craig Krimbel and had the same fate of so many who have faced Kimbrel before him: a strikeout.