Tonight is the All-Star Game, coming to you from Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. The National League All-Stars are looking to string together consecutive wins for the first time in 15 years – and this time it counts. Again.
Of course the winning league of tonight’s game gains home field advantage in the playoffs, a decision in the last nine years that has fueled emotions of both hatred and complete apathy since its inception.
Milwaukee has two starters in the All-Star Game tonight, First Baseman Prince Fielder and Second Baseman Rickie Weeks. These two should provide some fireworks in a high powered offense for the National side. Ryan Braun would have joined his Brew Crew teammates in the outfield, but he is sitting the game out due to a nagging calf injury. He has been in Phoenix all week, however. Other notable absent players include Mets shortstop Jose Reyes who is out with an injury, and Yankee Derek Jeter – who is out because is tired from hitting the ball and being famous; which is a very foreign thing for him.
That sets you up for the game tonight, and you probably don’t need another rundown of how this works so get comfortable, steady your cursor over the refresh button and let’s kick off this star-studded edition of our live blog.
Thanks for joining us here at Reviewing the Brew for the All-Star Live Blog. It was just as fun as it usually is to chat you guys up, but a little more confusing. I can’t wait to get to back to lineups I can follow. Have a good night, and keep cheering on the Brewers as the second half gets underway in Arizona this week.
This year’s All-Star Game started off as a pitching duel to remember, but the middle innings warmed up the bats on both sides. It was Milwaukee’s own Prince Fielder, however, who delivered the signature blow to the American League. Follow that up with an RBI from Ethier that drove in Rickie Weeks, and you might say that this was Milwaukee’s own personal All-Star Game. Overall, it was an exciting show and a great game from both leagues.
For that signature moment, the Ted Williams All-Star MVP award goes to Prince Fielder of Milwaukee. Prince becomes the first Brewer to snag the MidSummer Classic award.
WP – Tyler Clippard (WAS)
LP – CJ Wilson (TEX)
SV – Brian Wilson
FINAL – Castro throws out Paul Konerko for the final out of the 2011 All-Star Game. National League wins 5-2, and claims home field advantage for the World Series.
Top 9th, two outs – Brian Wilson gets Joyce to fly out to Jay Bruce, Quentin wisely stays at third.
(Commercial note: Fox is getting back to its roots with a show featuring car crashes and animal attacks in the same hour)
Top 9th, one out – Let’s see what happens: Base hit to center field, overthrow, overthrow, overthrow. Men on second and third. Brian Wilson comes in. I wonder what happens next?
(Text from Dad: Oh! A Cub made an error! That’s our f’in All Star)
Top 9th, one out – Castro fields Quentin’s ground ball, but puts it in the dirt in front of Votto for the only error of the game so far. It would be from a Cub. One on, one out.
Top 9th – Montero is in at Backstop, and Hanhrahan is in to close the game down from the Bucs. Young at the plate from Texas. Young goes down on a check swing call for the first out. This pitcher is the reason the Pirates are staying close this year.
End 8th – Down to the last swings for the American League. I’d tell you who was coming up except that Gameday is still down and Fox has done nothing to show the fans who’s playing in the game. NL 5, AL 1.
Bottom 8th, two outs – Gonzalez in from the A’s, to face Bruce from Cincy. Gonzalez battles through a full count to strike out Bruce and end the 8th.
(commercial note: Uloric is prefect for the individual who wants to deal with gout, but only sometimes. )
Bottom 8th, one out – Votto back at the plate just in time to ground out to third. Two outs. I like seeing Votto get put out no matter what the situation.
Bottom 8th – Alexi Gando of the Rangers hurling for the AL now against Andrew McCutchen for his first AB of the All-Star Game. McCutchen chops one right back to Gando for the first out.
Top 8th, two outs – Heath Bell comes in with a beautiful slide after Venters completes his two batter in the All-Star game. Did I mention he’s awesome? Hint, Hint Brewers. Phillips gets the pop up and ends the AL half of the 8th. NL 5, AL 1.
Top 8th, one out – Weiters grounds out on the first pitch for the first out. Venters is in as Bochy tries to use every Atlanta pitcher tonight.
End 7th – National League takes a commanding lead thanks to Pence and the Panda. six more outs for the AL, with only one position player left for Ron Washington’s All-Star card. NL 5, AL 1.
Bottom 7th, two outs – Phillips flys out to center, and I think Pablo got tired just thinking about running to third. Two outs.
Bottom 7th, one out – Wieters gets a passed ball behind the plate, which sends Pence to third base. Pablo has an RBI chance now. The Panda delivers with a ground-rule double, driving in Pence from third. NL 5, AL 1.
(Text from Dad: Wow, a Cub struck out.)
Bottom 7th, one out – Castro finally gets a PA tonight with one on. Castro gets put out and the Kung Fu Panda, Pablo Sandoval is up to the plate.
Bottom 7th – Mariners closer Brandon League is in for the AL as Hunter Pence leads off the NL half of the 7th. Pence does the Central proud by hitting a single through the gap. One on, no out.
(Bedazzled All-Star shirt? Classy choice, Michelle Branch)
Mid 7th – Kimbrel works his way out of the biggest jam of the night, and keeps the AL from advancing past second for every batter except Gonzo’s homer. NL 4, AL 1.
Top 7th, two outs – Konerko is up now, making my second mistake of the night. Kimbrel is pitching for the NL, and this kid is a beast. I think 88 is his slowest pitch tonight. Kimbrel walks Konerko which puts up Howie Kendrick with two on and two out.
(Stat time: Jurrjens is lifted. Line: I don’t know. Gameday froze up like two innings ago. I know this much: 1 H, 0 R)
Top 7th, Two outs – Youkilis is up from Boston to try and do something for the AL. He hammers an inside fastball for a single. One on, two outs.
Top 7th, One out – Joyce is up from Tampa Bay and grounds out to Castro for the second out.
Top 7th – Jurrjens gets another inning of work, and Votto puts out Konerko in foul territory. One out.
(Broadcast note: It’s about time they honored Killebrew. One of the best pure hitters ever and easily one of the classiest guys in the history of the game. )
End 6th – Perez gets into a jam from his old catcher, but works out pretty well. I’m surprised no one on Fox has talked about Cleveland at all this game, considering what a story they were in the first half of the season. NL 4, AL 0.
Bottom 6th, two outs – Upton flies out to left to end the inning. Funny that they call him a “five tool” player when the game is sponsored by Moneyball. Just Sayin’.
Bottom 6th, one out – Votto goes down swinging. Two outs for Yadier Molina – who looks like he shaves his eyebrows. Just sayin’. Oh he also railed a double off the left field wall. One on, two out.
Bottom 6th – Heath Bell is awesome, and he wouldn’t mind being a set up guy. Hint, hint Brewers. Perez is up to pitch from Cleveland against Matt Kemp for his last at-bat (probably.) Kemp bows out with a deep fly to right. One out and a good game for Kemp. Votto up.
(Commercial note: is superimposing players through time just MLB’s new marketing strategy? Super creepy.)
Top 6th, two outs – McCarver annoys me. Miguel Cabrera is up to face Jurrjens. Phillips wrangles a hot grounder and ends the inning. Jurrjens works quickly and helps keep the game in the NL’s hands. NL 4, AL 1.
(Note: I like that Jhonny purposefully spells his name wrong. Way to stick it to the man. )
Top 6th, one out – Jhonny Peralta is up to face Jurrjens now. He flies out to Justin Upton for the second out.
Top 6th – Curtain call for the Brewers as Brandon Phillips replaces Rickie at second. Jurrjens is on the hill for the NL to face Jacobi Ellsbury of Boston to lead the sixth, who promptly strikes out. One out.
End 5th – Ethier pulls one into left, which brings in Rickie for the fourth run. Ethier than nobly sacrifices himself halfway to second base to end the inning so Fox can go to commercial. Why did he run? Bautista had the cutoff throw in before he rounded first. Oh well. NL 4, AL 0. Milwaukee Brewers are involved in every NL run so far. Milwaukee rules!
Bottom 5th, two outs – Rickie Weeks steals second on Walden, putting him in scoring position for Ethier, who has 44 RBI this year.
Bottom 5th, one out – Rickie Weeks lays down a chopper towards third and reaches safely on a fielder’s choice. Unfortunately Castro was put out on the play. Two outs and no hits for Rickie. Ethier is up for the NL.
Bottom 5th – Starlin Castro makes the Cubbies by stealing second, something we Brewers fans have seen coming a few times. Walden rings up Rolen on the next pitch for the first out.
Bottom 5th – lineup changes are coming in quicker than I can keep up. Walden is pitching as Tulo singles to right. The audio from Fox is reason #345 why tonight’s game presentation is annoying the hell out of me. One on, no out for Scott Rolen.
(Stat time: Prince is the first Brewer ever to hit a dinger in the ASG. Nice job, my friend.)
(Broadcast note: Don’t be modest Prince, you can chug those bases for a big guy)
Mid 5th – Cano gets put out at first for the second out. Also, Kershaw looks like he’s about 10 1/2. Great Interview from Prince – who modestly said that it would’ve been an easy double if it bounced in. Votto keeps up the good first base play with the third out. Quick inning for Kershaw, but he’s used to that sort of thing. NL 3, AL 1.
Top 5th – Papi to the plate again, this time against Kershaw from the Dodgers. Papi gets rung up on a check swing. Papi does not approve. One out.
(Commercial note: How does a global military and police force not destroy a bunch of smarter-than-average apes? I almost have to watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes to find out)
End 4th – Hunter Pence is up, one of my favorite in-division players. Too bad he strikes out to end the 4th. Prince makes the game so far his towering 3-Run homer, and if anyone in Phoenix boos him again I swear to God that I will personally come to Arizona and start punching faces. NL 3, AL 1.
Bottom 4th, one out – Someone got out, I don’t really care. I’m still celebrating for Prince. Upton lines out to second on a broken bat that really wanted to go back into the dugout. Two out.
Bottom 4th – Prince Fielder is up (to more boos) with two on after Matt Kemp singles. Prince puts one way out for a 3-run homer in classic Prince Fielder fashion. What a beast. Now who wants to argue Prince as MVP? NL 3, AL 1.
(Broadcast note: There is no need for this interview. Ever. Also, don’t tell my girlfriend that Justin Timberlake is at the All-Star Game)
Bottom 4th – CJ Wilson is on the mound and Cabrera makes a rare bobble at short. Beltran is safe at first base. One on, no out.
(Broadcast note: It’s fun to listen to long-time baseball guys talk about Moneyball. Note how they said “famous book”, not good, or even interesting. It still makes me laugh.)
Mid 4th – Clippard takes on Beltre to try and stop the bleeding for the National League. Hunter Pence makes a beautiful throw that allows Brian McCann to slap a glove on Bautista, who ought to know better than to test that kid’s arm. Great play. AL 1, NL 0.
(Commercial note: that guy in the Silverado commercial is, without a doubt, the worst father ever)
(Lee’s official line: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER)
Top 4th, Two outs – Fielder drops a tough fly to shallow right, and Bautista is safe at first. Two out, one on for Josh Hamilton. Hamilton drops one into center, and that will end the night for Lee. Clippard is in to warm up. Two out, two on.
Top 4th, Two outs – Cabrera goes 0-2 with a fly out to Kemp. Gonzalez is up again. Gonzalez tattoos an 0-1 offering right over Upton’s head (in right field, not center) to put AL up 1-0. Two outs, none on.
Top 4th – Granderson is back up with the top of the AL lineup, and Lee takes his second inning of work. Hunter Pence is in at Left and Upton is in at Center as Rickie and Prince team up to put the Grandy man out at first. One out.
End 3rd – Pineda delivers two K’s on the NL All-Stars, and Rickie goes 0-2 with two strikeouts of his own. These bats need to come alive, but I don’t see any pitcher letting up anytime soon. NL 0, AL 0.
Bottom 3rd, One out – Scott Rolen is up now against Pineda as Joe Buck takes a dig on the four people who decided not to show up to the All-Star Game. The announcers barely mention Rolen’s strikeout. Two outs for Rickie Weeks.
Bottom 3rd – Tulo takes on Michael Pineda and pops one up to center field. One out.
(Stat time: Halladay’s Line 2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 K)
Mid 3rd – Much ado about nothing again as Cliff Lee pitches well and keeps the AL lineup on the ground. NL 0, AL 0.
Top 3rd, Two Outs – Prince gets his revenge on Robinson Cano by putting him out at first. Two outs.
Top 3rd – Cliff Lee faces off against Big Papi and he battles to it full right away. Prince makes another unassisted play for the first out. Prince for ASG MVP?
End 2nd – Holliday strikes out, and Berkman’s frumpy carriage slides right past second base for the third and final out. I don’t even want to get into why Berkman would be taking off to beat a throw ever in his life, or why you would want to put a forty-something outfielder into a hit-and-run. Leave it to St. Louis to ruin my night. NL 0, AL 0.
Bottom 2nd, One out – Matt Holliday is up, and these Cardinals batters are always tough to watch. Because I hate them, but I need them to do well.
(Bullpen Note: Pineda from Seattle is warming up )
Bottom 2nd, One out – Berkman is up for the NL, and he breaks up the no-hit bid for the AL with a liner to center. Instead, let’s talk about Bautista. Again. One on, one out.
Bottom 2nd, One out – Brian McCann flies out deep in foul territory to Bautista, who is now going steady with everyone on Fox. One out.
(Stat time: Weaver’s Line: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 1 K, 1 BB)
(Bullpen note: Beckett is out with an injury in his knee, David Robertson from New York is in.)
Mid 2nd- Beltre battled off Halladay about as good as anyone could but he flies out to right field. Pitching is still the king at the All-Star Game, no one has reached a base yet. NL 0, AL 0.
(Bullpen Note: Cliff Lee is warming up in the bullpen, and Darth Vader is scheduled to pitch the fourth)
Top 2nd, Two outs – Bautista flies out right away, someone tell them they can take a pitch. Hamilton waits one offering and grounds out to Rolen at third.
(Commercial Note: Free Stickers??? Where do I sign up? Oh yeah, anywhere 12 years ago.)
End 1st – Prince flies out to left, making him the first All-Star to leave the infield. NL 0, AL 0.
Bottom 1st, two outs – I’ll say one thing for Fox, if Matt Kemp gets the MVP on the Dodgers, then Prince should have four MVP’s. Kemp walks and puts up Prince Fielder for his first AB tonight. One on, two outs.
Bottom 1st, one out – Weaver is throwing hard but struggling with his command right now. Beltran is up as the DH. Beltran strikes out for the second out, and this is going to be a pitcher’s duel tonight I think.
Bottom 1st – Brian Wilson delivers the lineup with that fantastic flair of his. Rickie is up to more boos. Give it a rest guys. Rickie grounds out to first base, one out.
Mid 1st – Gonzalez grounds out to Prince, who is the defensive MVP so far this game. For all the talk from the experts about the AL line up, they produced one strikeout and two ground outs. Halladay looks like a beast tonight. NL 0, AL 0.
Top 1st, one out – Roy Halladay is delivering faster than anyone can keep up right now, and he strikes out Cabrera with his fifth pitch. I’m glad he’s on my team tonight. Two out.
Top 1st – Roy Halladay delivers to Granderson, and Prince Fielder makes the first out of the game. Milwaukee rules!
7:33 – Fifteen commercial breaks later, and the All-Star game is finally starting.
7:32 – I blacked out for a minute, did Jose Bautista just get a hip hop song?
7:30 – Last night, my girlfriend said that, as far as American Idols go, Jordin Sparks is “legit”. I’ll take her word for it. She did a good job though.
7:28 – Very classy move from Major League Baseball, and a great way to honor the families.
7:24 – Nothing says an all-star game like watching staged X Factor auditions, Simon Cowell in a pink sweater and a bunch of product placement. I hate Fox so much.
7:20 – D-Back fans still booing Rickie and Prince for not picking Upton in the Home Run Derby, seems just a little silly and a great deal disrespectful – but I might be bias.
7:16 – Hanrahan looks like a beast. He has to be at least 7′ 3″, 285. Honestly.
7:14 – The D-Back coaches and players get a huge round of applause and very well deserved. How did Mike Quade get a job coaching in the All-Star Game? Seems he’s having a hard enough time in Chicago.
7:13 PM – Felix Hernandez is so good he gets introduced twice. Everyone else wishes they could reach that kind of fame.
7:10 PM – Really? They had to superimpose current players with former greats? That’s like going back and putting Hayden Christensen in the old Star Wars – just leave it alone, guys. Trust me.
7:03 PM – Fox’s people to watch are Matt Kemp and Robinson Cano, which are both good choices. I’m going to look at how Andrew McCutchen performs tonight, and I want to see how Tulo does under the scrutiny of replacing Reyes. In the American League, I’m interested in watching Cabrera over at short and I can’t wait to watch Pineda pitch again.
7:00 PM – And we’re off. Cue cool intro music, and the pre-game show brought to you by Chevy. I need to take a bathroom break – sponsored by Pepsi.
6:58 PM – Oh my god, Wheel of Fortune will not end. I just want to watch baseball.
6:56 PM – Starting Line ups
SP – Roy Halladay (PHI) (11-3, 2.45 ERA)
2B – Rickie Weeks (MIL)
DH – Carlos Beltran (NYM)
CF – Matt Kemp (LAD)
1B – Prince Fielder (MIL)
C – Brian McCann (ATL)
RF – Lance Berkman (STL)
LF – Matt Holliday (STL)
SS – Troy Tulowitzki (COL)
3B – Scott Rolen (CIN)
SP – Jered Weaver (LAA) (11-4, 1.86 ERA)
CF – Curtis Granderson (NYY)
SS – Asdrubal Cabrera (CLE)
1B – Adrian Gonzalez (BOS)
RF – Jose Bautista (TOR)
LF – Josh Hamilton (TEX)
3B – Adrian Beltre (TEX)
DH – David Ortiz (BOS)
2B – Robinson Cano (NYY)
C – Alex Aliva (TEX)
(I don’t know when the actual first pitch is, so for now just a time code will have to do)