Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, was the site for the 90th Midsummer Classic. After the explosive home run derby created a stir in the social media world and talks of juiced baseballs filled our ears, fans were preparing for a high scoring affair in the all-star game.
The pitchers, especially in the American League, decided this night was their night. The AL pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts against a loaded National League lineup that featured threats such as Christian Yellich and Cody Bellinger. The AL started strong, with pitcher Justin Verlander throwing 97 mph heat past the NL batters. The first run came off a Michael Brantley double in the second, bringing in Alex Bregman to give the AL the lead 1-0.
The two teams would trade great pitcher performances until the fifth ending, when the AL increased the lead to 2-0. Gary Sanchez was brought home from an infield single by Jorge Polanco. The offenses would start to find their groove.
In the sixth inning, Charlie Blackmon homered for the NL and giving them their first run of the night, 2-1 AL. The AL followed up with a pair of runs in the seventh inning. Xander Bogaerts hit into a double play that would score Matt Chapman. Joey Gallo followed this up with a solo home run from the first pitch he saw. 4-1 AL.
With the bases loaded in the eighth inning, Home Run Derby winner Pete Alonso stepped up to the plate. Alonso singled to score for two RBI’s. 4-3 AL.
The NL were never able to tie or take the league, and the score would remain. Masahiro Tanaka earned the win for the AL and Clayton Kershaw was charged for the loss. Cleveland pitcher Shane Bieber was named MVP after striking out the side in the fifth inning.
What do you want to see in the MLB all star game? A high scoring slugfest or a pitchers duel?