Mariano Rivera gets the hold (?!?) in final All-Star Game as AL wins 3-0


I’m very happy I got to see Joe Nathan close out Mariano Rivera‘s final All-Star Game in person. I’ll cherish this forever.

Ugh, this felt so wrong. I mean, yeah, I know there was a chance Mo may not have pitched if a bullpen full of All-Stars couldn’t hold a three-run lead in the eighth. I get that. But I don’t like it. It was a great moment, the two-minute standing ovation and cap tip to the crowd, but man it felt so wrong to see Rivera — who was named the All-Star Game MVP — out there in the eighth instead of the ninth. Jim Leyland out-thunk himself a little too much.

Anyway, the AL won 3-0 because the pitching staff held the NL to just three hits. Jose Bautista had a sacrifice fly in the fourth, J.J. Hardy a run-scoring ground out in the fifth, and Jason Kipnis a run-scoring double in the eighth. Robinson Cano left the game after being hit by a pitch in the first inning but is expected to be fine. has the box score and video highlights while FanGraphs has the WPA Graph. For the first time since 2009, the AL will have homefield advantage in the World Series. That’ll be useful if the Yankees get their act together in the second half.

2013 All-Star Game Thread

2013 All-Star GameAs of right now, things aren’t looking all that good as far as the Yankees making the playoffs this year. They sit in fourth place in the AL East and three back of the second wildcard spot. It’ll be an uphill climb in the second half, that’s for sure.

That said, just in case they do qualify for the playoffs and manage to make it to the World Series, I want them to have homefield advantage. It’s dumb that the All-Star Game determines that, but it is what it is. Those are the rules they have to play by.

The NL has won three straight All-Star Games and, not completely coincidentally, they’ve won the last three World Series at well. Homefield advantage had to help a smidge. It’s time for the AL to get back to dominating this thing, which they did for a long time before these last three years. Here are the starting lineups:

American League

  1. LF Mike Trout
  2. 2B Robinson Cano
  3. 3B Miguel Cabrera
  4. 1B Chris Davis
  5. RF Jose Bautista
  6. DH David Ortiz
  7. CF Adam Jones
  8. C Joe Mauer
  9. SS J.J. Hardy

National League

  1. 2B Brandon Phillips
  2. RF Carlos Beltran
  3. 1B Joey Votto
  4. 3B David Wright
  5. LF Carlos Gonzalez
  6. C Yadier Molina
  7. SS Troy Tulowitzki
  8. DH Michael Cuddyer
  9. CF Bryce Harper

Max Scherzer (AL) and Matt Harvey (NL) are your starting pitchers, and the full rosters are right here. Manager Jim Leyland confirmed yesterday that Mariano Rivera will pitch in the game even if the AL doesn’t have a save situation, so that’s neat. Hopefully they give him a lead to protect in the ninth inning, however.

The game is scheduled to begin at 8:00pm ET and can be seen on FOX. Enjoy.

2013 Homerun Derby Open Thread

2013 Homerun DerbyThe Homerun Derby is one of those things that sounds better than it actually is. It’s fun … for the first 15 minutes or so. It has a tendency to drag and drag, and after a while even homers get boring. I remember seeing Buster Olney suggest adding a points system — so many points for hitting it here, more for hitting it there, etc. — to spice things up and I liked the idea because at least it adds some strategy. I dunno.

As usual, there are eight participants in the Derby this year. I continue to hope Adam Dunn, who was put on this Earth to swing away in an event like this, will one day get to strut his stuff in the Homerun Derby. Here are the eight participants, though I have no idea who will hit when. The order remains a mystery:

American League
Robinson Canocaptain
Yoenis Cespedes
Chris Davis
Prince Fielder

National League
David Wright — captain
Pedro Alvarez
Michael Cuddyer
Bryce Harper

Lots of intrigue here. You’ve got the two hometown captains obviously, then you’ve got another local guy in the Washington Heights-raised Alvarez. Davis leads the world with 37 (!) homers, Fielder is a two-time Derby champ (2009 and 2012), Harper is the young phenom, and Cespedes is the international man of mystery. Cuddyer is … Cuddyer. Not exactly a typical Derby candidate, but apparently Wright chose him because the two are close friends. Fair enough, captains get to do that sort of thing.

My official pick — which is basically just a guess — to win is Harper. It’s not just about raw power, it’s also about endurance. He’s by far the youngest and I’m assuming fatigue will be less of a factor for him. Who really knows though? That’s the fun. The Derby starts at 8pm ET and can be seen on ESPN, as usual. Talk about that or anything else you want right here. Enjoy.

Steve Delabar beats out David Robertson for final All-Star spot

Blue Jays right-hander Steve Delabar beat out David Robertson in the AL All-Star Final Vote, the league announced. It would have been cool to see Robertson become a two-time All-Star, but I’m totally cool with him getting four days of rest next week given that he’s on pace for a career-high workload. Robinson Cano and Mariano Rivera are the Yankees only two All-Stars this season.

Robinson Cano and Mariano Rivera elected to All-Star Game

Unsurprisingly, Robinson Cano and Mariano Rivera were the only two Yankees elected to this year’s All-Star Game. Cano was voted the AL starter at second base by the fans and will also captain the AL Homerun Derby team. Manager Jim Leyland already confirmed Mo will be the AL’s closer. The full rosters are right here.

Cano, 30, is hitting .293/.372/.527 (137 wRC+) with 20 homers this year. This will be his fourth consecutive All-Star appearance — third as a starter — and fifth overall. The 43-year-old Rivera owns a 1.39 ERA (2.27 FIP) in 32.1 innings while going 29-for-30 in save chances. He missed last year’s All-Star game due to the knee injury, but he made the squad every year from 2008-2011. This is his 13th career All-Star appearance, the 21st most all-time and second most by a pitcher. Only Warren Spahn (14) went to more Midsummer Classics as a hurler.

David Robertson is one of five relievers included in the Final Vote. The team’s setup man has a 2.29 ERA (2.82 FIP) in 35.1 innings this year. Robertson, 28, was an All-Star in 2011, when he replaced David Price on the roster. You can vote for him right here. Polls close at 4pm ET this coming Thursday.

Shocker: Leyland confirms Rivera will be AL’s closer for All-Star Game

Via George King & Dan Martin: Tigers manager Jim Leyland confirmed Mariano Rivera will serve as the AL’s closer for next month’s All-Star Game. “He took me off the hook from all that silly stuff that they wanted him to start the game … I hope I give him the ball in the ninth inning in New York,” he said. Leyland is managing because Detroit won the pennant last year.

Rivera, 43, has a 1.55 ERA (2.36 FIP) with 26 saves in 27 chances this year. There was a campaign to have Mo start the All-Star Game as a way to honor his career, but thankfully that was shot down. Rivera himself said he didn’t want to start. The game will be played in New York at CitiField, so hopefully the AL squad gives Mo a lead to protect in the ninth inning during his final All-Star Game. That would be pretty darn neat.

Robinson Cano named captain of AL Homerun Derby team (again)

For the second straight year, Robinson Cano will captain the AL Homerun Derby squad, MLB announced. He won the event back in 2011, as you surely remember. David Wright will do the honors for the NL. He was the runner-up to Ryan Howard back in 2006. The All-Star Game is in CitiField this year, so good job by MLB of picking the two New York guys.