Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thanks Phil! NL Snaps Streak, Gets Home-field

(Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

National League «000000300371
American League000010000160
W: M. Capps (1-0) L: P. Hughes (0-1)
S: J. Broxton (1)

I'm kidding of course. Who cares about All-Star Game performances, right?

Oh wait, thanks to Bud Selig, we now have to.

It's a shame that baseball has forced this mid-season exhibition to mean something. Something Joe Girardi--a guys who knows a thing or two about October baseball-- called "extremely important”. Having the All-Star Game, a game played mostly by players who will only see the World Series on their TVs, decide home-field advantage in the World Series is an embarrassment to the sport.

Don't get me wrong, as a Yankees fan (AL) I was perfectly happy with baseball handing them home-field last year, it's probably why they won the World Series. Had the NL won the ASG last year, who knows how that series would have played out. That still doesn't change the fact that it's a joke. Home-field advantage should be determined by best overall record and anything else is just wrong.

OK, rant over. On to the game...

In this "year of the pitcher" it was only fitting that the 81st Midsummer Classic was a pitchers duel. The National League broke the American League's 13-year unbeaten streak, winning 3-1. Braves backstop, Brian McCain, took home MVP honors thanks to his three-run double in the 7th with the NL trailing 1-0.

Though Phil Hughes didn't give up the hit to McCain, he was tagged with the loss. Hughes started the inning, but after retiring Joey Votto, Scott Rolen and Matt Holiday singled, and both runners would come in when McCain hit that double off Chicago's Matt Thornton. (Maybe the title should have been "Thanks Matt").

Even though I was rooting for the AL, I was glad to see Ortiz get thrown out, and embarrassed, like he did in the ninth inning. With Ortiz on first, John Buck hit a bloop to right. The ball landed in front of the charging Marlon Byrd, who caught it on a pretty big hop and fired to second for the force. I'm sure there are other players who get thrown out there, but it's fun watching Red Sox fail.

Here's how the rest of the Yankees all stars did tonight:

- Robinson Cano went 0-for-1, but did drive in the AL's only run with a sac-fly in the 5th off Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo. He grounded out in his first at-bat against Ubaldo Jimenez.

- Andy Pettitte pitched a scoreless inning. He allowed a single to Yadier Molina, struck out both Andre Ethier and Corey Hart, and got Hanley Ramirez to ground to Jeter for a force.

- Derek Jeter went 1-for-2, with a walk. The walk came in the first against Ubaldo Jimenez in the first, Josh Johnson struck him out in the third, and then he singled off Roy Halladay in the sixth.

- Nick Swisher struck out in his only at-bat against Adam Wainwright.

- Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera did not play.

The Yanks restart on Friday against Tampa, and I expect the Yankees to have some sort of pregame ceremonies for both Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner.

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