MLB ALL-Star Game: The AL Beats the NL 4-3
It was the 90th MLB annual midsummer classic and for the seventh year in a row, the American League were victorious. Since 1997, the AL is 19-3-1 against the NL in the All-Star Game. The AL leads the all-time series with a record of 45-43-2. Yes, it is a close record, but man it’s been all about the AL for the past quarter century.
Closer than Expected
Anyway, most people thought this was going to be another high scoring game like last years slugfest. The 2019 players being on pace to set an MLB record of home runs in a season. Therefore, you would think that there would be a lot of long balls. Instead, it was all about the strikeouts. For the first five innings, both teams only had a couple of chances to score. The NL couldn’t do it, but the AL did, and just like last year’s All-Star game, the Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers gave up some runs. In the second inning, Michael Brantley hit an RBI double off of Clayton Kershaw and in the fifth, Jorge Polanco hit an RBI single off of Walker Buehler.
With the score 2-0, Charlie Blackmon hit a solo home run in the sixth inning, to get the NL on the board. After a couple 1-2-3 innings from both sides, the AL got some insurance in the bottom seventh. Xander Bogaerts grounded into a double play to get a run home and Joey Gallo homered off of my one San Francisco Giants All-Star Will Smith, to give the AL a 4-1 lead.
Just when it looked like it was over for the NL, they put together a threat in the top of the eighth. With the bases loaded, the 2019 home run derby winner Pete Alonso, was able to get a 2-RBI single to make it 4-3. After a double steal play, it was up to Mike Moustakas to get the big hit, but he popped up to the catcher. From there, Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth and once again, the AL win.
Pitching Leads the Way
Many thought this game would see a lot of hits, instead, the Ks won by almost a 2-1 ratio. There were 23 k’s on the night (16 of them by AL pitching) and 13 hits. It was a game that was played like any other game during the season. Now, there wasn’t really a big deciding play that stood out in this game. In fact, this type of play usually is the reason why a team won. Voters also use it as the reason for crowning the right MVP of the game.
Since it was all about the pitching, one performance stood out, and he was from the team that hosted the All-Star game. In his first Allstar game, the young Cleveland Indians pitcher Shane Bieber, struck out the side in the fifth, it preserved the 1-0 lead at the time for the AL, and it led to him getting the Allstar game MVP award. Congratulations to Bieber and now he can tell LeBron James that he brought some more hardware to Cleveland.
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