- During pre-game introductions the crowd gave a big hand to hometown Twins Kurt Suzuki and Glen Perkins. Cardinals reliever Pat Neshek also got some cheers because apparently he's from Minnesota. But the biggest ovation from the fans at Target Field was saved for Derek Jeter. The Yankees shortstop is making his 14th and final All-Star appearance, so naturally the focus will be on him.
- Last year's NL MVP Andrew McCutchen steps in to face former Cy Young Felix Hernandez to start the game. McCutchen reaches on an infield single after Jeter made a diving stab to keep the ball in the infield, but was a split second late on the throw.
- McCutchen moved to second on a passed ball, then stole third. Hernandez leaves him stranded by striking out Yasiel Puig and Troy Tulowitzki, then getting Paul Goldschmidt to ground out to end the first inning.
- A huge ovation for Jeter as he steps to the plate to lead-off the inning against Adam Wainwright. Even the NL players take a moment to show their appreciation, with Wainwright refusing to take the mound until the crowd settled down, allowing Jeter to enjoy the well deserved moment. Jeter starts his night with a double, which essentially ensures he'll be named MVP of this game.
- Speaking of guys that should be named MVP – Mike Trout triples to drive in the game's first run.
- Then there's the guy who has won back-to-back MVPs in the AL. Miguel Cabrera homers to put his team up 3-0. The AL was a single short of the cycle against Wainwright in the 1st inning.
- Wainwright joked after he was taken out that he threw a couple "pipe shots" to Jeter, as if he were going easy on him to let Jeter get a hit. The Cardinals ace later backpedaled fast enough to leave tread marks by clarifying those comments weren't meant to be taken seriously and he had no intention of tainting the moment for Jeter. He then sarcastically added that people probably think he intentionally allowed the home run to Cabrera too. Social Media just doesn't get his humor.
- Jeter handled groove-gate with his typical class. "If he grooved it, thank you. You still have to hit it."
- AL Manager John Farrell turns to his ace Jon Lester for the 2nd inning. Lester gives up back-to-back RBI doubles to Chase Utley and Jonathan Lucroy that put the NL on the board. Lester hadn't given up 2 earned runs in a start since June 22, but gave up 2 in his only inning of work tonight.
- A lot of people are saying Clayton Kershaw deserved to start the game for the NL. Those complaints will only grow louder after Kershaw retired the side in order to breeze through the 2nd inning. However, you can't blame NL Manager Mike Matheny for going with his own guy when Wainwright was a big part of the reason the Cardinals got to the World Series last year, which put Matheny in position to manage this game. Plus, Kershaw missed about a month on the DL and has pitched a lot less innings than Wainwright.
- The 40-year old Jeter is the oldest hitter to collect multiple hits in an All-Star game, breaking the previous record held by Carl Yastrzemski (39). He'll finish his career with a .481 average in the All-Star game. Farrell replaces him in the top of the 4th inning, allowing the fans to give him one last ovation. Hugs for everyone in the dugout, followed by one last curtain call. #RE2PECT.
- Lefties are not doing well for the AL, as Lester and Chris Sale combine to give up all 3 runs for the NL. Lucroy hits another RBI double to tie the game. Dee Gordon had entered as a pinch runner for Utley and showed off his blazing speed, scoring from first on the play.
- Tough All-Star break for Puig. He's now struck out in all 3 trips to the plate in this game, plus he went homerless in the Home Run Derby.
- Nice swim move by Tulowitzki to avoid the tag on a head first slide into second. There aren't many offensive categories this guy doesn't lead the NL in, so it's no surprise to see him come up with a big hit. Max Scherzer strikes out Goldschmidt to get out of the inning, preventing Tulo's double from causing any damage.
- Alexei Ramirez gets a base hit in his first at-bat after subbing in for Jeter, then Trout follows with an RBI double down the left field line to put the AL back on top. It was a close call as to if that ball went over the third base bag or not, but apparently it's not reviewable. We almost had our first ever All-Star Game replay challenge!
- Jose Altuve crushes one to the warning track in left to drive in Ramirez on a sac fly. The AL leads 5-3 after 5 innings.
- Koji Uehara gets the strikeout on 4 pitches to get out of a jam with a runner on third and two outs to end the top of the 6th. It's no surprise that Farrell trusted his own closer with the tying run at the plate, but it means Koji only gets to face one batter. Farrell doesn't want to tax the arm of his 39-year old closer anyway, but wanted to ensure that he got him in the game considering it's his first MLB All-Star appearance.
- In case you are wondering, Uehara is not the oldest player to be selected for their first All-Star game. Former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield made the team at age 42 back in 2009.
- Craig Kimbrell strikes out the side in the 8th. He allowed only one base runner, when Ramirez reached on an error on a hard grounder that ate up Freddie Freeman at first. That's a tough error, but they couldn't let the guy that replaced Jeter match his two hits, right?
- Twins closer Glen Perkins enters the 9th, with his catcher Kurt Suzuki behind the plate. Perkins retires the side in order to pick up the save in front of his home crowd and close out the win for the AL. The final score is 5-3.
- Mike Trout wins the All-Star Game MVP. He was 2 for 3 with a double, triple and 2 RBIs. Most would have expected Jeter to win it, considering they made just about everything else about him. With a pair of hits, you could even make a decent case for Jeter earning it, but realistically, Trout was the right choice. Jeter has been the face of baseball for nearly 20 years, but as we tip our cap to say good-bye to the Captain on his farewell tour, that role will inevitably fall to someone else. That next young star to carry the league should be Trout. Jeter may have been in the spotlight, but Trout winning the MVP is a symbolic passing of the torch to the younger generation.
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Tags: All-Star Game, Baseball, Boston, Boston Red Sox, Derek Jeter, Jon Lester, Koji Uehara, Mike Trout, MLB
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