All-Star games — no matter what sport you are dealing with — are usually known for heavy doses of offense. That was not the case in the latest Midsummer Classic, which took place on Tuesday night at Citi Field in New York.
The American League All-Stars finally got the monkey of their back and claimed home field advantage for this year’s World Series as they trumped the National League 3-0. This came after three-straight losses.
Yes, you read that right — zero runs. This came from a lineup with guys like Joey Votto, Buster Posey, Carlos Beltran and David Wright in the mix.
The American League put up runs in the fourth, fifth and eighth innings while their studs on the mound flat out shut down the National League, limiting them to just three hits.
Jose Bautista, J.J. Hardy and Jason Kipnis all drove in runs for the American League in what proved to be somewhat of a snoozer of a game. However, some compelling storylines did emerge from the All-Star break. Here is a rundown on a few of them.
MARIANO RIVERA’S LAST BOW
Although the game was held on New York Mets turf, the stadium was full of plenty of love for Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who, at 43 years old, competed in his final All-Star game before retirement.
Rivera received a standing ovation as he entered the game in the eighth inning already. He made the trot out to the mound with a fitting anthem thumping in the background — “Enter Sandman” by Metallica.
And, of course, Rivera recorded three straight outs in his last appearance on the All-Star stage. Without a doubt, Rivera will make a B-line for the Hall of Fame once the season is out.
ROBINSON CANO PLUNKED
It’s the last thing any fan wants to see — their team’s star getting beaned by a pitch in a game that doesn’t really mean a whole lot. This is what happened to Yankee Robinson Cano, who was hit in the knee by a pitch from Matt Harvey.
The moment might have sped up a few heartbeats among the Yankees faithful, but Cano should not miss any regular season games after his X-rays came back negative. Hey, at least he didn’t charge the mound.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
There were plenty of new faces among the All-Star cast this year with a whopping 39 players appearing in the game for the first time. Of this group, a staggering four of them were not even of drinking age, yet.
The 24-year-old Harvey was among the bunch, and started for the National League in front of his home crowd. He pitched two shutout innings and recorded three strikeouts.
YOENIS CESPEDES WINS HOME RUN DERBY
It wasn’t Prince Fielder or Robinson Cano. In fact, the two finalists — Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics and Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals — had the fewest career home runs of the bunch, but still stood strong.
Cespedes road the momentum of a monstrous first round, where he nailed 17 home runs, to get the better of the Harper, who was taking pitches from his dad.