Friday, July 19, 2013

Quickie Sports Chowdah Update- AL Shuts out NL At Citi Field in 2013 All Star Game

All work and no baseball make Fenway a dull boy. All work and no baseball make Fenway a dull boy. All work and no baseball make Fenway a dull boy. All work and no baseball make Fenway a dull boy. All work and no baseball make Fenway a dull boy. All work and no baseball make Fenway a dull boy. All work and no baseball make Fenway a dull boy. All work and no baseball make Fenway a dull boy.....

...wait a sec- that implies that I was interesting to begin with.

MLB ALL STAR GAME- The 2013 All Star game from Citi Field in Queens, NY is in the books and for the first time in All Star history, there have been back to back shutouts.

Mets phenom Matt Harvey started for the NL and the first inning got off to a rough start after allowing a leadoff double to Mike Trout and hitting Yankees 2B Robinson Cano with a 96 mph fastball. Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia came in to pinch run for Cano. From there, Harvey was able to get out of a jam by striking out Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, getting Baltimore's Chris Davis to fly out to center field and Toronto's Jose Bautista to strike out swinging.

Instead of the All Star game being a showcase of offensive prowess and home runs sailing out of the ballpark and into the night sky, the ball remained decidedly in the park on Tuesday night. The first run of the game came on a sac fly from Bautista that was deep enough to plate Cabrera in the top of the 4th inning. Arizona's Patrick Corbin would escape the inning without any further damage, but ultimately it would be all the AL needed and he was hung with the loss.

In fact, the NL didn't get a hit until the bottom of the 4th when the Cardinals' Carlos Beltran hit a 1-out single, but the threat was turned aside when Cincinnati's Joe Votto grounded into a fielder's choice and the Mets' David Wright grounded out to third.

The AL doubled their lead in the top of the 5th when Baltimore's JJ Hardy hit into a fielder's choice off of Philly's Cliff Lee with nobody out and O's teammate Adam Jones on third, making it 2-0 AL.

The 8th inning was probably the highlight- in the top half of the frame, Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez led off with a single off of Atlanta's Craig Kimbrell. Detroit's Jhonny Peralta then singled to put Perez on second. Although Tigers' teammate Torii Hunter hit into a double play, Perez was then able to move over to third and came home on a 2-out ground rule double from Indians 2B Jason Kipnis before Baltimore's Manny Machado struck out to end the inning with the AL on top 3-0.

In the bottom half of the frame, AL manager Jim Leyland made the decision to send out Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in what would be his final All-Star appearance. The likely first-ballot Hall of Fame reliever started off the inning by getting Brewers infielder Jean Segura to ground out to second, St Louis pinch-hitter Allen Craig to line out to left and Rockies outfielder Carlos Gomez to ground out to end the inning.

While Pittsburgh closer Jason Grilli allowed a leadoff triple to Detroit's Prince Fielder, he struck out the side to leave the big Tigers outfielder stranded at third.

Leyland then sent Rangers closer Joe Nathan out to close out the game- while he got Cards infielder Matt Carpenter and Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen to strike out, Nathan gave up a booming double that was barely contained by Citi Field. However, Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez popped out to shallow right center to end the ballgame.

The White Sox's Chris Sale gets the win and Arizona's Patrick Corbin is hung with the loss. After coming out onto the field with much fanfare, Mariano Rivera got credit for the hold with his hitless 8th inning and Joe Nathan gets the save. After getting shut out 9-0 last year in Kansas City, the American League All Stars win by a final of 3-0 in Flushing.

Mariano Rivera- who announced in Spring Training that this would be his final season- was named the MVP of the 2013 All Star game.

The win means that the winner of the ALCS will have home field advantage for the World Series. The Red Sox present at the All Star game didn't factor into the final score much, with both Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz going 0-2. Interestingly, Big Papi (as well as Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion) was at DH instead of getting slotted into and infield position, despite Citi Field being a National League ballpark.

Next year's All Star game is set to take place at Minneapolis' Target Field on July 15th, the first All Star in the Twin Cities since 1985 and the first ever in the Twin's new ballpark.

RED SOX- The second half of the season gets underway on Friday night [for everybody- not just the Red Sox- NANESB!] with the Red Sox hosting the Yankees at Fenway. Felix Doubront [6-3; 3.91 ERA] will get the start against Andy Petite [7-6; 4.39 ERA]- it might be worth noting that even when Doubront sported a much higher ERA back in May, he has a considerably lower average when facing the Bronx Bombers- 2.52 ERA through 35⅔ innings.

Friday night's game will be televised on both NESN and the MLB network with a first pitch of 7:10 ET.

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