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By Gary W. Marchese Jr.
Anaheim, CA (July 13) – The National League defeated the American League for the first time since 1996 last night at the All Star Game. The final score was 3-1 and with it, the National League will have the home field advantage in the World Series.
The game lived up to what the season has been like, all about the pitching. There was some controversy as Alex Rodriguez was left on the bench with slow-footed David Ortiz on the base paths and the current active home run leader could have represented the tying run but did not get into the game.
Joe Girardi who was the manager of the AL All Stars and is also Rodriguez manager on the Yankees just said it was his decision, that he would of pinch ran if one more batter got on base. It seems very curious and it later came out that Rodriguez does have a minor thumbnail injury so maybe Girardi was protecting his player.
David Price started for the American League and Ubaldo Jiminez for the National League and they both pitched two scoreless innings. Brian McCann of the Atlanta Braves had the game’s biggest hit in the seventh inning with a three run double turning a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead, which would be the final score. McCann won the MVP award of the game.
Matt Thornton a lefty reliever from the Chicago White Sox was the one who gave up the hit but Phil Hughes put the men on base and was charged with the loss. Brian Wilson of the Giants and Jonathan Broxton of the Dodgers shut down the American league in the eighth and ninth innings respectively. Marlon Byrd made a heads up play in right field in the ninth inning to throw out Ortiz at second base making many questions why Rodriguez was not in the game. Rodriguez said, “I was getting ready around the sixth inning on, Maybe next year.” Girardi said if the game went to extra innings then A-rod would have probably been the DH.
Robinson Cano of the Yankees had the only RBI for the American league. The only pitcher from the National League that gave up a run was Hong-Chih Kuo of the Dodgers. The biggest threat for the American League came in the seventh inning when they had two men on but the Cardinals Adam Wainwright got Vernon Wells out on a force-out and struck out the hometown hero Torii Hunter.
Matt Capps got the victory in his All Star Game debut for the National League. In the sixth inning Derek Jeter and Josh Hamilton delivered singles against Roy Halladay but Elvis Andrus was caught stealing and Capps struck out Ortiz whom was pinch-hitting. There was a moment of silence before the game for the deceased owner of the New York Yankees George Steinbrenner; he had passed away on Tuesday morning from a massive heart attack.
The American League had won every game excluding 2002 when there was a tie. It was a remarkable run especially for an All Star Team against another All Star Team. The National league was due to win one eventually. Girardi was making his All Star Game managerial debut and can’t be too happy about being the one to break the streak but his team has the best record in baseball and he will move on to bigger and better things as the Yankees will open with a first place battle against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.
The Yankees will have heavy hearts, as they will be playing their first game without their longtime PA announcer Bob Sheppard and without their owner George Steinbrenner. Sheppard passed on Sunday and Steinbrenner yesterday, the Yankees will also be wearing patches to commemorate both men.