Jul
13

National League secures home field advantage in World Series with All-Star Game win

By

(via Twitter user @waverider15)

The final score was 5-1 and I blame the AL West. The AL jumped out to a one-zip lead thanks to an Adrian Gonzalez solo homer, but the NL answered right back when eventual MVP Prince Fielder hit a three-run oppo bomb off C.J. Wilson. They tacked on another run at the expense of Jordan Walden, and another off Brandon League. When you look through the box score, it’s pretty obvious the AL just didn’t have the pitching to keep pace. I still blame the AL West though. Stupid useless division, thanks for nothing.

Four Yankees were at the game but only three played. Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano started the game but didn’t hit the ball out of the infield in two at-bats each. David Robertson pitched the second inning after Josh Beckett shut himself down with soreness in his knee during warm ups, striking out one (Matt Holliday) and allowing a single up the middle (Lance Berkman). He and Chris Perez were the only non-AL West pitchers to appear in the game for the good guys. Russell Martin did not play at all, which I’m pretty cool with, actually. Let him rest.

The best part of the game: Tyler Clippard getting the win. He’s been phenomenal since the Yankees traded him away, but anyone that watches him regularly will tell you about his penchant for vulturing wins. He does it so often that it’s officially referred to as “clipping” a win. This game was a perfect example. Clippard entered the game with men on first and second with two outs in the fourth, then gave up a single to Adrian Beltre. The only reason he got out of the inning was because the third base coach inexplicably sent Jose Bautista home*, where he was thrown out by a mile by Hunter Pence. One batter, one hit, win. Clipped.

Bruce Bochy used Philadelphia and Atlanta pitchers for six of the nine innings and one of his own pitchers for just two outs. That was Brian Wilson, who didn’t come into the game until the AL threatened in the bottom of the ninth. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Ryan Vogelsong didn’t even leave the dugout. The Phillies and Braves will be right there with the Giants come the playoffs, and Bochy used his managerial perk to use their pitchers and spare his own. Anyway, it’s the NL’s second straight win and they now have home field advantage in the World Series. After a day off on Wednesday, the Yankees will be back at it against the Blue Jays on Thursday.

* Seriously, what the hell was that about? Pence had the ball before Bautista even got to third.

  • MikeD

    The game went downhill after the D-Rob strike out/throw-him-out play in the second. The All-Star game is a marketing event, so it has its purpose, but I’ve never liked having the home-field advantage determined by an exhibition game that teams really aren’t playing to win.

    Home-field advantage determined, now we’re heading straight into the trading deadline. K-Rod to the Brewers just happened. Lots more coming that could impact the stretch run.

  • CP

    It’s almost like those shiny ERA’s out in the AL West are due more to large ballparks and crappy hitters than to great pitchers…

    • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

      Ehhhhhhh it’s not like there aren’t some very, very good pitchers out there. I mean, Weaver and Pineda looked fine (obligatory disclaimer that they threw like 14 pitches, and it’s the freaking All-Star Game). Brandon League just isn’t one of them.

      • Pat D

        But he’s just as good as Mo.

        /ESPN idiots’d

  • pat

    Lol @ Timberlakes whole interview. “When they asked if I wanted to be interviewed by the pool I said ‘Excuse me?’”

    • Justin

      That was the real highlight of the game. “DOING A GREAT JOB JOE! “

  • Oeld

    Why did Weaver only pitch one inning? Washington knew their pitching options were limited with the loss of Hernandez, Verlander, Price, Shields, and Sabathia.

    • Pat D

      Three choices:

      A) He wanted to get everyone, save one or two guys, into the game
      B) He forgot that this game counted
      C) He’s a fucking idiot and not at all a good manager.

      For the answer, I cite The Muppets Take Manhattan:
      Fozzie: We’ll take “C.”
      Pops: Verrrry popular choice.

      • Pat D

        Well I fucked that up. That exchange was from The Great Muppet Caper, not The Muppets Take Manhattan.

        Everyone can point at me and laugh.

        • BigBlueAL

          The Great Mupper Caper was the one in which they “played” baseball at the end with the diamond and using fish as bats right??

          I vividly remember Muppet Takes Manhattan because I must have seen that movie 100 times as a little kid. The other 2 Muppet movies of that time not so much, although the original Muppet movie is the one when they sang that song about rainbows in the end I remember that.

          WTF am I doing talking about 1980′s Muppet movies at 2 in the morning on an MLB All-Star Game thread????

          • Pat D

            Yes, that diamond was called “The Baseball Diamond.”

            WTF are you doing? I don’t know. I have that power?

          • The Oberamtmann

            You’re remembering that the muppets, especially those movies, are teh awesome?

            • Pat D

              I’m really looking forward to that new one.

  • tom

    I think the All-Star Game suffers from going in two directions — trying to make it “meaningful” by basing home field on it, but also encouraging managers to get damn near everyone in the game, meaning perfectly solid but not prime All-Star players are what you mostly see past about the 4th inning. I’m dating myself here, but there was a time when the position starters went 6-7 innings, and a few played the whole game.

    The fact that so many genuine stars (esp. pitchers) opted not to show up this year also made the field feel a bit thin. For me, once AGon/Bautista/Cano were gone, I didn’t feel like it was much of an AL all-star team, at least not one I’d have wanted to count on to win anything important. I flipped over to The Daily Show at 11, and didn’t much care what I was missing.

    • BigBlueAL

      The first All-Star Game I remember watching as a little kid was in 1987 when Dave Winfield started and played the entire game which lasted 13 innings.

      • Pat D

        Yea, I watched that entire game as a 6 year-old because Winfield was my favorite player. Imagine my horror in the A.L. not winning.

        • BigBlueAL

          Last year I remember watching this game on MLBN and the Yankees had 4 starters (Rickey Henderson, Mattingly, Winfield and Randolph) plus Dave Righetti pitched to a couple of batters late in the game.

          Those Yankees teams of my youth had star power if not real good teams lol.

          • Pat D

            The problem was, as always, the pitching.

            As I remember looking at the stats, they’d get one guy to have an ace-type season, one guy who pitched like a decent #2, and then it was a whole lot of “yikes.”

            They always had good hitters, though a bunch of them were also aging veterans (Griffey, Baylor, Claudell Washington, Randolph, Winfield to a certain extent) and shortstop always seemed to be a black hole (cough*Bobby Meacham*cough)

            • BigBlueAL

              For some reason as a little kid I always liked Wayne Tolleson at SS. I think it was his mustache.

  • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

    Should of kept Clippard.

    Also, he said after the game that he vultured the win. At least he’s self-aware.

    • mbonzo

      He’d be a our 5th inning guy.

      • James

        “lol”

  • BigBlueAL

    This has to be the most boring MLB All-Star Game Ive ever watched.

    • Pat D

      I was watching Prime 9′s and Countdown’s I had DVR’d from MLBN. Let me just say…they love The Pine Tar Game. It’s at the top of like 17 lists.

      Anyway.

      Once I saw Fielder’s home run, that was enough for me.

      • BigBlueAL

        Thats another game I remember seeing recently in its entirety on MLBN and even ESPN Classic. Winfield hits an absolute bomb in that game. Plus the part I didnt get was why it took Billy Martin so long to bring in Goose, he literally brought him in with 2 outs and the tying run on base to face Brett. If I remember correctly it was a 1-run game going into the 9th but Goose didnt start the inning and it wasnt like the SP was still pitching because he was pitching a gem.

  • YankeesJunkie

    I only recognize the AL East as a division of baseball. The AL Central and West in AAAA and the NL East has upgraded to beastly status.

  • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

    Cuso, if you see this – see, D-Rob didn’t die. ;P

    Anyway, this was pretty dull. Pineda had a really awesome inning for the AL, but I wouldn’t know that from watching the game because they went into jeterjeterjeterjeterjeterjeter mode. Heath Bell was the best part. Roy Halladay is good, and the day when Venters’ and Kimbrel’s arms fall off will be sad. lol the announcers saying there was “no question” Adrian Gonzalez was the AL MVP. etc.

    • Will

      Heath Bell’s entrance was definitely the highlight of the game, with Bautista’s fantastic catch being a close 2nd (although I imagine John Farrell wasn’t too happy with that one).

  • Pat D

    I don’t know if anyone caught Wilson’s postgame interview, but he basically made fun of Karros’ hair.

    A+

  • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

    to anyone who wondered why Martin was like the only player who didn’t get into the game:
    http://www.nydailynews.com/blo.....or-wieters

    Nice, honestly.

    • Will

      More evidence that Martin totally rules! Offensive struggles of the last 2 months aside, I think he is a really valuable member of the Yankees, and against all expectations he has become my 3rd favorite position player on the team after Granderson and A-rod.

    • Charles

      Wow what a great story!

    • Pat D

      But the Yankees are teh evil!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris MattSec110

    Heath. Bell.

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris MattSec110

    Heath. Bell.

  • Ellis

    I just don’t understand the use of middle relievers in the ASG – obviously I’d rather watch LIncecum pitch than Tyler Clippard. Can anyone explain why they do this?

    • A.D.

      In this game Bochy didn’t want to have his franchise pitcher warm up in the middle of a game, something he’s not used to, and then go all out for an inning or two

      Generally I think its a bit of protecting the starters, and secondly the idea that relievers, although may not be as good of a pitcher, are better equipped to warm up fairly quickly and get an inning worth of outs.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    I wanted to see teh Papelbon pitch.

  • John

    Apparently Beckett had an injury, said nothing of it, and started to warm up to come into the game, only to stop his warmups citing a knee “discomfort”.

    wasted roster space…good job not being honest there Becks.

    also CJ Wilson proved he doesn’t belong at the All Star game…Ron Washington picked him over CC which caused that whole debate when the rosters were first finalized….

    • Pat D

      Beckett suffered that injury in his last start before the break. He threw his normal bullpen later in the week and said he’d be OK, so that’s why he was there.

      What bothers me is that I saw him in the dugout later in the game, so he must not have caused more damage, which is what I was naturally hoping to be the case.

      Beckett on the DL would have been delightful.