For the fifth consecutive year and the seventeenth in the past twenty years, the American League All Star team bested their National League counterparts, this one in a 2-1 nail-biter that had everything a fan could ask for in an All Star Game but this one was different than other recent additions. For the first time since the 2002 edition at Miller Park in Milwaukee, the game did not decide who got home-field advantage in the World Series tie-in which had besmirched the Midsummer Classic from 2003 to 2016. Players seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves with one lighthearted moment being a sixth-inning stoppage to play in which Mariners (AL) outfielder Nelson Cruz posed for a photograph with umpire Joe West with Cardinals (NL) catcher Yadier Molina playing the role of photographer. However, despite the noticeably fun-inducing atmosphere, rather than the three-hour zombie-fests of the Bud Selig All-Star years, there was still a game to be played and played it was.

The Junior Circuit’s Stars struck first in the top of the fifth when Baltimore’s (AL) Johnathan Schoop doubled to left field and was singled home by Home Run Derby runner-up Miguel Sano singled to right field. The lead was short-lived as Molina went from photographer to home run hitter, knotting the game at one with a blast to right-center field in the sixth. Each team had chances from then on including a runner on third base for both teams in the ninth inning which closers Kenley Jansen of the Dodgers (NL) and Craig Kimbrel of the Red Sox (AL) both managed to work their way out of. The drama was over soon after that as Robinson Cano blasted the tiebreaking home run to the same section of Marlins Park that Molina’s dinger had been in earlier which sealed the game and the All Star Game MVP Award for the Mariners second baseman. Andrew Miller of Cleveland then shut down the National League offense in the tenth with help from Justin Upton in the outfield and Francisco Lindor in the infield making good defensive plays. To end the game Miller struck out Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers and knotted the all time standings for the All-Star Game at 43 wins for each team and 2 ties. Next year it will be in Nationals Park in Washington D.C. and in 2019 it will head to Progressive Field in Cleveland

Facebook Comments