The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary All-Star of the Game
Mike Trout went 2 for 3 with a triple, a double, a run scored, a Corvette, and a pair of RBIs, and in the process won both the All Star Game's Ted Williams MVP Award and Fox Sports' anointment as the heir apparent to Derek Jeter, apparently. I'd have a more concrete explanation of what happened in this game, but 2/3rds of it was spent in interviews with Jeter, interviews with players about Jeter, or interviews in the stands with Bud Selig that made about as much sense as the first hundred pages of a Dan Brown novel. Regardless, Trout put his skills on full display, and when the most talented player in baseball shows up on a big stage with a game like this, well, Nuxy would've been dang proud to see it happen.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Derek Jeter, who went 2 for 2 with a run scored in his swan song ASG, and despite the best of efforts from Fox managed to deflect each and every opportunity to dote on himself; Jonathan Lucroy, who whacked a pair of doubles for the losing National League squad; Miguel Cabrera, who mashed the game's lone dinger off St. Louis Cardinals ace (and NL starter) Adam Wainwright; Craig Kimbrel, for tossing a perfect inning and striking out each of the 3 batters he faced; and Todd Frazier, Alfredo Simon, Devin Mesoraco, and Aroldis Chapman for being Cincinnati Reds and playing tonight, too.
- Things got off to a quick start for the AL, as they managed to nab a trio of runs off Wainwright in the Bottom of the 1st. Jeter led off with double off a grooved or not grooved or maybe grooved or grooved until it wasn't supposed to be grooved fastball from Wainwright, and he promptly scored on Trout's triple. Cabrera then dingered two batters later, and the team with a five good guys and a pile of other NL-ers was suddenly in the hole. AL led, 3-0.
- The Top of the 2nd gave the NL a bit of life, however, as an Aramis Ramirez single, Chase Utley double, and Lucroy double plated a pair of runs off Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. AL led, 3-2.
- Lucroy again was in charge of an NL run if you ascribe to RBI guys being all RBI-y and in charge and stuff, as his double in the Top of the 4th plated a not-in-charge Dee Gordon (who was on 1B after pinch-running for Chase Utley after Utley was actually, literally, figuratively, undoubtedly hit by an actual, real-live pitch this time). Game tied, 3-3.
- Cardinals reliever Pat Neshek was summoned to pitch the Bottom of the 5th for the NL, and the proverbial shizz hit the proverbial Big Ass Fan. Derek Norris and Alexi Ramirez singled to put runners on 1B & 2B, and Trout doubled just down the LF line to score Norris and move Ramirez to 3B. Tyler Clippard was brought on in relief, but all he could do was get Jose Altuve to hit a tall (get it) fly ball to LF that allowed Ramirez to tag and score. Both teams then ran into the dominant relievers of each league, and that was that. AL wins, 5-3.
- Devin Mesoraco struck out in his lone PA, while Todd Frazier took a 4 pitch walk from Fernando Rodney in his only trip to the plate.
- Alfredo Simon allowed just one hit and no runs scored in his single inning of work, though he did have several balls hit hard.
- Aroldis Chapman pitched 0.2 innings tonight, and he seemed to come up limping while covering 1B on the grounder that ended the Bottom of the 8th inning. He later seemed to be OK in the dugout, but with this year's Reds squad, well, it's probably gangrene.
- Unfortunately, Johnny Cueto didn't get the chance to pitch tonight thanks to his start on Sunday. He appeared to have enjoyed the experience nonetheless, however.
- MLB did absolutely, positively nothing to honor the late Tony Gwynn. That makes me terribly sad.
- Shortly after Wainwright was done for the evening, Yahoo's Jeff Passan quoted the Cardinals pitcher as saying "I was going give [Jeter] a couple of pipe shots" in reference to the 1st inning at bat that resulted in a Jeter double to the RF corner. That later got around, and when Erin Andrews interviewed Wainwright in the NL dugout late in the game, the pitcher apologized for causing a stir, said he was trying to be humorous, and did his best to make the claim that the previous quote was in jest. Got it.
- Most importantly, the Reds return to actual action on Friday against...damnit...Derek Jeter and the freaking New York Yankees at new Yankee Stadium. Good luck getting 3 minutes without a Jeter ASG reference from either booth in that broadcast. I swear.
- All Star tunes.