Player of the Game
This will be the only game of the season that the ‘Player of the Game’ is not an Indian. Try as hard as they could, neither Tribe representative was able to make a big enough difference in the outcome of the game. This is also the only game of the season where I keep track of both teams scores as this is very complex and time consuming. The final team ‘POG’ scores were 21.00 for the NL and 3.27 for the AL. Adrian Gonzalez was the American League’s best player with a final score of 3.15, but the real ‘Player of the Game’ was Prince Fielder, who won the game with a 3 run home run and finished the game with a final ‘POG’ score of 5.42.
Asdrubal started at shortstop for the American League due to the fact that the shortstop who was voted into the game, Derek Jeter, didn’t even bother to show up. While he absolutely deserved the start, he wasn’t all that spectacular as he went 0-2 with a strike out before he was replaced by former Indian shortstop, Jhonny Peralta. Cabrera was unable to show off his glove as well as he muffed the only ball hit to him. Overall this game really isn’t important and he didn’t give up any unearned runs so hopefully he had a good time at his first of what should be many All-Star games.
The Rage was alive and raging in Phoenix as Chris Perez pitched a scoreless inning against the National League. He pitched the 6th inning and didn’t have a lead at the time so it was a little different situation than he is used to. None of that mattered to Perez as he still excelled, striking out NL MVP Joey Votto and only allowing one hit to his former teammate Yadier Molina. His scoreless outing kept the American League within three runs. With Mariano Rivera also sitting out, Chris Perez was the best closer available to the AL, but manager Ron Washington still decided to use him early in the game.
Of the game itself, the American League was hurt by injuries and drop outs as some of the best players in baseball were kept out of the game. Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, Jon Lester, C.C. Sabathia, David Price, James Shields, Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez all dropped out of the game beforehand for one reason or another while Josh Beckett and Miguel Cabrera were each injured during the game and were unable to play. The players lost by the NL were no where near the stature of those lost by the AL and this really slanted the odds toward the NL before the game even started.
Final Score: American League 1 – National League 5