Jul 16, 2013, 11:52 PM EDT
Three hits, one walk, zero runs. That was what the NL’s collection of offensive talent was able to put up against a wrecking crew of AL pitchers in the All-Star Game tonight, a feeble performance that at least prevented the game from stretching on past midnight. The AL didn’t provide a ton of offensive fireworks either, but managed a more respectable three runs on nine hits, which was enough to get the ball to Mariano Rivera in the eighth inning to close it out. (Actually, there are nine innings in a baseball game, so Joe Nathan was awkwardly brought in to double-close it out after, but Mo won the MVP anyway because SENTIMENT.)
The Phillies did not exactly represent to the fullest in this one. Cliff Lee pitched one inning of work, giving up a quick two hits and then allowing a Jose Bautista sac fly to score the AL’s second run of the game. The earned run wasn’t really all on him, as the second hit came on a grounder to short that the normally sure-handed Troy Tulowitzki butchered, and at least he induced a couple easy grounders to get out of the inning shortly thereafter, but when you only get one inning of work, any amount of run-sacrificing is tough to swallow.
Lee’s performance was a better showing than Dom Brown’s, at least. As a result of the NL lineup’s disturbingly efficient outmaking, Dom played nearly half the game but only came to bat once. In that at bat: Three pitches, three strikes (two called, last swinging) and one out. If Dom was hoping to state his case for why he shouldn’t have been left off the Home Run Derby roster, there would have been more convincing ways to do it, though we’re hoping he’ll have plenty of chances to come for both his Derby debut and his All-Star redemption before his stay in Philadelphia wraps.
Really, this was a pretty boring baseball game. The most entertaining parts of the night came outside of the game, as when an idiot Yankees fan dared Twitter to dare him to rush the field (then got smacked down by security after doing so), or when Neil Diamond took the field in the mid-eighth for an even-more-embarrassing-than-usual “Sweet Caroline” sing-along. Rivera’s final All-Star Game obviously dominated the conversation, though AL coach Jim Leyland’s controversial decision to use him in the eighth instead of the ninth (presumably due to fear the AL would take the lead and Mo would not be able to pitch at all) certainly robbed the moment of a good deal of its poetry. (Tim McCarver also said his fond farewell to ASG broadcasting, though it’s hard to imagine many baseball fans were getting terribly choked up at that.)
Whatever. No real consequence here except that AL gets home-field at the World Series this year, and let’s just say that the Phils will cross that exceedingly unlikely bridge when they come to it. Phils season starts again on Friday, and hopefully Dom will get a couple opportunities to put bat to ball again before season’s end. See you back at Citi Field then.
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