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Instant analysis: AL 5, NL 3

Jul 15, 2014, 11:32 PM EDT

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GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Everyone knew coming in what the 85th Midsummer Classic would be all about: Derek Jeter. And the Yankees shortstop didn’t disappoint in his 14th and final All-Star Game appearance. Afforded no fewer than three standing ovations, he rose to the occasion by going 2-for-2 with a double and a single, also making a spectacular play in the field on the very first batter of the night. Jeter departed in the fourth and got one final curtain call, turning over the affair to everyone else.

The real stars of the night were the AL’s sluggers, Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera, who helped stake the junior circuit to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. The NL rallied to tie the game thanks to a pair of RBI doubles by Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy, but the AL came right back to take the lead in the bottom of the fifth off Pat Neshek.

The AL bullpen then shut things down after that, with Minnesota’s own Glen Perkins getting the save in his home ballpark. So the AL emerged victorious, securing home-field advantage for its league come late-October.

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: What a first inning for the top of the AL lineup. After Jeter’s leadoff double, Trout smoked a triple off the right-field wall. Cabrera then mashed a 2-run homer to left, putting the Americans up 3-0 real quick. And Trout was far from done. He drilled a line drive to left in his second at-bat, though it was caught. He then doubled in another run in the fifth to cap a big night for the Angels’ young superstar.

PITCHING LOWLIGHT: Mike Matheny wasn’t a real popular man all week outside of St. Louis, especially after selecting several of his own players (including middle reliever Neshek) for the squad and then naming Adam Wainwright the NL’s starter over Clayton Kershaw. So how did those moves work out? Not so well. Wainwright was roughed up for three runs in the bottom of the first, serving up a triple to Trout and a homer to Cabrera. Neshek, meanwhile, was charged with two runs allowed in the bottom of the fifth, giving up three straight hits before he was pulled in favor of the Nationals’ Tyler Clippard. So, if you weren’t keeping track, that was five runs allowed by Cardinals pitchers in 1 1/3 innings tonight.

NATS HIGHLIGHT: Say this for Clippard: He makes his All-Star appearances interesting. In 2011, he threw all of three pitches, gave up a hit, got a guy thrown out at the plate and wound up credited with the win. Tonight, he entered in a jam, with runners on second and third and one out in the bottom of the fifth. His second pitch to Jose Altuve sailed to the backstop, then ricocheted back to catcher Devin Mesoraco, who nearly threw out Alexei Ramirez at third base. Altuve then roped a ball to left field, though only deep enough to bring a run home via sac fly. Clippard then engaged in an 8-pitch battle with two-time AL MVP Cabrera, ultimately getting Miggy to fly out to center on a changeup. There was no NL rally in the top of the sixth, either, so alas, there was no vultured win for Clippard on this night, only an eventful two-thirds of an inning.

KEY STAT: The team that has held home-field advantage has won eight of the last 11 World Series, including five straight since 2009.

  1. Danny - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    Go Cards!

    Reply Report comment
  2. adcwonk - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    five runs allowed by Cardinals pitchers in 1 1/3 innings tonight.

    And zero runs allowed by all the other NL pitchers combined in 7-2/3 innings tonight.

    Karma, Mr Matheny?

    Reply Report comment
  3. stoatva - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    To say nothing of Wainwrong.

    Reply Report comment
  4. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    “@KeithOlbermann Guarantee you, joke or Unexpected Truth Escape, the Adam Wainwright “pipe shots” #ASG remark about Jeter will require an investigation”

    Reply Report comment
  5. Eric - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:52 PM

    Anyone see Wainwright walk back his comment about giving Jeter a pitch to hit in the first? Hilarious! Exquisitely awkward.

    Reply Report comment
    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:55 PM

      He is trying to say he was joking when he made those comments. Maybe he was.

      Reply Report comment
      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:30 AM

        Harold Reynolds on MLB Network saying Waino is a big joker and it was taken out of that context that he was joking as he made the initial comments.

        This isn’t going to go away quietly. Smoltz in the postgame panel says it’s no big deal. Smoltz and Waino are old buddies.

      • Eric - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:29 AM

        Agreed on both counts. Still, it was one of the most hilariously awkward TV moments I’ve seen that didn’t involve a nipple falling out of a dress.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:46 AM

        This article really covers the implications on Wainwright and a game that “counts”.

        http://espn.go.com/mlb/allstar14/story/_/id/11221559/did-wainwright-groove-pitches-jeter?src=mobile

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      Anybody know – is there any video or audio of the initial comment about grooving the pitch? Did it look/sound like he was joking?

      Reply Report comment
  6. secretwasianman - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:54 AM

    Best pitcher in baseball doesn’t start because of the selfishness of Cards manager. Same reason Rendon got snubbed. Die Cards Die.

    Reply Report comment
    • nattyboh1 - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:31 AM

      MIke Matheny is almost as bad as Cito Gaston.

      Reply Report comment
  7. Joe Seamhead - Jul 16, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    I watched a John Hiatt concert recorded in Franklin, TN.
    Did I miss anything?

    Reply Report comment
    • sjm308 - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:27 AM

      Seeing Hiatt this week at Stratmore w/ Robert Cray Band
      Can’t wait
      Nats on the 19th Hiatt on the 20th. – pretty good weekend

      Reply Report comment
  8. Candide - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Cunegonde and I watched “The Battered B*st*rds of Baseball” on Netflix. Documentary of the Portland Mavericks, a single-A club founded in 1973 by Bing Russell, who played the deputy sheriff on “Bonanza” for 13 years and was the father of actor Kurt Russell.

    At their founding, the Mavericks were the only independent team in all of professional baseball, playing in the Northwest League against MLB team’s league affiliates.

    Funny, fun, documentary. Look for various major leaguers, as well as Johnny Carson and Joe Garagiola (after his retirement from baseball).

    A few weaknesses – how was the team financed? And one other big question I can’t ask because it would be a spoiler.

    Reply Report comment
    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      The title would be a play on “The Battered Bastards of Bastogne,” as the Allied troops cut off during the German advance in the Battle of the Bulge were later called.

      Reply Report comment
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NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 56 44 --
ATLANTA 55 48 2.5
MIAMI 49 53 8.0
NEW YORK 49 54 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 45 58 12.5
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