Last season, the American League won big in a 7-1 onslaught, led by the Washington Filibusters' Carlos Beltran's Grand Slam in front of his home team's crowd in Washington at Nationals Park. The Filibusters are no more, as they moved to Swatara & have become the Swatara Eliminators, while Beltran got traded to the World Champion South Shore Fighting Imps.
Beltran won't be in this game, in fact, many guys from last year's game will not be in attendance tonight, as both teams send a combined 45 new comers to the Mid-Summer Classic, that is a 75% difference.
Let's first look at the starting lineup for the visiting American League...
AMERICAN LEAGUE All-Stars - Starting Lineup
1. LF - Jacoby Ellsbury (CHI)
.286 AVG, 6 HR, 33 RBI, 61 SB .752 OPS
2. 2B - Robinson Cano (BRX)
.254 AVG, 11 HR, 44 RBI .756 OPS
3. 3B - Miguel Cabrera (BUF)
.286 AVG, 22 HR, 54 RBI .924 OPS
4. 1B - Paul Goldschmidt (FAIR)
.278 AVG, 26 HR, 65 RBI, 9 SB .943 OPS
5. RF - Shin-Soo Choo (S.S.)
.263 AVG, 14 HR, 54 RBI, 7 SB .828 OPS
6. CF - Adam Jones (FAIR)
.295 AVG, 20 HR, 64 RBI, 6 SB .858 OPS
7. C - Carlos Santana (BRX)
.238 AVG, 15 HR, 59 RBI .761 OPS
8. DH - Victor Martinez (SWAT)
.293 AVG, 12 HR, 42 RBI .819 OPS
9. SS - Ian Desmond (SWAT)
.285 AVG, 14 HR, 45 RBI, 10 SB .826 OPS
SP - Madison Bumgarner (FAIR)
14-3, 2.09 ERA, 135 K's .975 WHIP
NATIONAL LEAGUE All-Stars - Starting Lineup
1. LF - Carlos Gonzalez (POR)
.254 AVG, 15 HR, 47 RBI, 9 SB .810 OPS
2. CF - Mike Trout (POR)
.313 AVG, 14 HR, 54 RBI, 10 SB .957 OPS
3. 3B - Adrian Beltre (URB)
.286 AVG, 16 HR, 55 RBI .833 OPS
4. DH - Edwin Encarnacion (SD)
.287 AVG, 20 HR, 59 RBI .928 OPS
5. SS - Troy Tulowitzki (HAN)
.306 AVG, 16 HR, 41 RBI .930 OPS
6. RF - Michael Cuddyer (KING)
.327 AVG, 12 HR, 35 RBI .912 OPS
7. 1B - Freddie Freeman (POR)
.331 AVG, 16 HR, 69 RBI .944 OPS
8. C - Buster Posey (HAN)
.238 AVG, 8 HR, 33 RBI .705 OPS
9. 2B - Jason Kipnis (POR)
.257 AVG, 7 HR, 25 RBI, 13 SB .726 OPS
SP - Anibal Sanchez (POR)
12-1, 2.55 ERA, 126 K's 1.006 WHIP
Madison Bumgarner of the Fairgrove Tigers will face off against Portland's Anibal Sanchez, both pitchers lead their leagues in wins, while Bumgarner's 2.09 ERA ranks 2nd in the American League; Sanchez's ERA has risen from 2.01 to 2.55 in the last month. Bumgarner also leads league with 135 strikeouts, while Sanchez's 126 ranks 6th in the N.L.
Top of the 1st
Leading off is Jacoby Ellsbury, the lone Chicago Nine to make it to Seattle, leads the league with a mind-boggling 61 stolen bases, the most-ever at the All-Star Break -- Traverse City's Jean Segura leads the N.L. with 36 steals. Sanchez ends up walking Ellsbury, bringing up Robinson Cano -- we'll see if Ellsbury plans to test Buster Posey's arm behind the plate. Sanchez sets up, the pitch, Ellsbury is off & running, Posey spins & fires... SAFE! Ellsbury made it before the tag. Runner on 2nd for Cano, he hits it to left, it drops in, Carlos Gonzalez is up with it on the one bounce, Ellsbury rounds third, "CarGo" fires it to home, no chance, Ellsbury just outran that ball. Cano thought about second, but will stay at first. The American League strikes first & they have big, bad Miguel Cabrera (batting third) coming up to the plate. Sanchez ends up walking him as well, he has not looked efficient out there, runners on 1st & 2nd -- with Paul Goldschmidt coming to the plate, you have to wonder if Sanchez will make it out of the inning. Goldschmidt hits it to center, Mike Trout is under this one, Cano momentarily tags up, but plays it safe, returning to second -- not wanting to test Trout's arm. Shin-Soo Choo flies to right, once again Cano stays at second, he didn't want to test Michael Cuddyer's arm as well. The 6th hitter is up in Adam Jones, who just ran away with the votes for American League outfielders -- his stolen bases are down from last season; Sanchez delivers, this one is hit! All Gonzalez can do in left, is look up -- GONE! Three-run homer by Jones, representing the Fairgrove Tigers -- helping his Tiger teammate Bumgarner, here in the 1st. The National League sticks with Sanchez for now. Sanchez needs one out to get out of this nightmare, he faces Carlos Santana. Santana is walked, Sanchez's third walk! That is it for Sanchez, as the National League Manager Brad Stark comes out of the bullpen, they will call on the Traverse City Panthers' Julio Teheran to get them out of this mess. Teheran is second in the N.L. in ERA (2.39), while also ranking 2nd in K/per 9 innings (11.0). Teheran facing Victor Martinez (who missed all of last season, due to an injury); The pitch, and it's bounced to Tulowitzki at short, flips to Kipnis at second, the force -- making it the 3rd out. American League 4, National League 0
|Jones delivers a huge blast during the top of the 1st for the A.L.|
Bottom of the 1st
Carlos Gonzalez leads off the inning, he was acquired during the off-season straight-up for David Ortiz, who went to Chicago. Madison Bumgarner delivers, this one is hit, going towards the right field corner, it's inside the pole, GONE! Solo HR for Gonzalez off of "Mad Bum" -- waking the National League crowd up. Mike Trout steps to the plate, he has bigger numbers going this year, although his steals are down; Robinson Cano makes a diving stop at second, throw to first -- out. One away, as the reigning N.L. MVP Adrian Beltre comes to the plate, what a difference a season makes, he's the lone Urbana Locomotive in this game, after they sent a bundle of players to last year's game. Beltre hits a double into the right field corner, as Edwin Encarnacion comes up to the plate, he is currently the BoS All-Time HR leader, with 70 HR's in only a season & a half -- he hit 50 last season, leading the entire BoS; Encarnacion trails San Diego Heroes teammate Chris Davis by 9 HR's at the break (Davis has 29 HR's). Bumgarner reaches back, fires, strikes out Edwin for out number two. Troy Tulowitzki flies out for final out. American 4, National 1
Top of the 2nd
Julio Teheran remains in the game for second inning. Mike Trout had to run for deep flies by lead-off hitter Ian Desmond & the third hitter of the inning in Robinson Cano -- but they would just be loud outs, while Teheran struck out Jacoby Ellsbury for the middle of a 1-2-3 inning.
Bottom of the 2nd
Michael Cuddyer leads off the inning with a double off of Bumgarner -- the ball skipped past Adam Jones who came in too quickly, Jones ran after it, as Shin-Soo Choo came over quickly to back him up. Runner on 2nd, no outs for Freddie Freeman -- who can forget Freeman's amazing post-season last year with 8 HR's?! Freeman does nothing here though, by popping out behind first. Buster Posey grounds to short, moving the runner to third with two outs. Madison Bumgarner badly fools Jason Kipnis, Cuddyer is stranded.
Top of the 3rd
The N.L. calls on rookie phenom Jose Fernandez to take the mound, the Holland Hitchhiker leads the league in ERA (2.15), with 10.1 K/per 9 innings; Fernandez was the 2nd player taken overall in the 2014 BoS Annual Draft. Fernandez would strike out both Paul Goldschmidt & Adam Jones in the inning, to keep the National League in the game -- American League still leads 4-1.
Bottom of the 3rd
The American League leans on Madison Bumgarner once more, Bumgarner would go on to strike out Carlos Gonzalez and Adrian Beltre -- making it 4 K's for the night, allowing only one run on two hits in 3 innings.
|"CarGo" smacks a solo in the bot of 1st.|
Top of the 4th
Jose Fernandez stays in to pitch the 4th, he strikes out Carlos Santana to start the inning, walks Victor Martinez. He will now have to face Ian Desmond, he's hoping for a double-play here & sure enough, he got just that!
Bottom of the 4th
John Lackey, who missed the entire 2013 BoS Season due to injuries, will take over for Bumgarner. His first assignment is against Edwin Encarnacion; Encarnacion strikes out again. Troy Tulowitzki of the Hannibal Cavemen steps to the plate, and flies to Adam Jones in center. Lackey strikes out Michael Cuddyer for the third out.
Top of the 5th
Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers' reincarnation of Sandy Koufax (or closest thing to him) will take over for Jose Fernandez; Fernandez went two innings with 3 K's. The King Road Kings' Kershaw leads the N.L. with 9 complete games (3 more than the next guy), also leading the league in Innings Pitched (142.1 innings). The American League will send up Daniel Nava to bat for Jacoby Ellsbury, Nava is a switch-hitter having a great year for the Bronx Bombers (Ellsbury bats left). The pitch to Nava, this one is hit, with serious distance to left-center, HOME RUN! Kershaw shakes his head in disgust, good call by American League Manager Bill Gillam. Kershaw gets Robinson Cano to pop up, but allows yet another HR to Miguel Cabrera! The American League are doing it again to the poor National League, as we currently have a similar score to last year's game, A.L. leads 6-1. Kershaw allowed no runs in last year's game in one inning of work -- the N.L. have no choice but to leave him in for the rest of this inning (or at least will try for that). Paul Goldschmidt flies out for out number two. Kershaw walks Shin-Soo Choo, Choo's second walk of the game. The National League goes to the pen & yanks Kershaw after 2/3 of an inning -- the man will be Portland's Hisashi Iwakuma. Iwakuma walks Adam Jones, Jones is 1-for-2 now, with a HR, 3 RBI, K & walk. The American League calls on Joey Votto to pinch-hit for the switch-hitting catcher Santana -- Votto will face the right Iwakuma; Men on 1st & 2nd, 2 outs, Iwakuma comes to the plate, Votto smacks this one, and it's caught by Jason Kipnis at second -- a hard liner! The inning is finally over for the National League. American League 6, National League 1
|Nava gets in on the HR fun -- Miggy would follow with one, two batters later.|
Bottom of the 5th
The American League have made many changes on defense, Daniel Nava stays in at left, Yadier Molina takes over at catcher, Joey Votto who pinch-hit for Santana is out. Shane Victorino will come in for Shin-Soo Choo in right, Alexei Ramirez and Jed Lowrie take over the middle infield for Ian Desmond & Robinson Cano, while Allen Craig takes over at first for Paul Goldschmidt. The only two players that are still in the game from the starting lineup is Miguel Cabrera at third & Adam Jones in center, who both have HR's with Nava. There is also a change on the mound, the American League send in their 3rd pitcher C.J. Wilson. John Lackey is out after scoreless 4th inning, in which he had 2 K's for the night. The National League didn't like the Wilson/Freddie Freeman (lefty vs lefty) match-up & will go to the bench in favor of the Cuban phenom - Yasiel Puig, as Seattle's crowd stops sitting on their hands, making a little commotion in the stands. Puig bats right, Molina momentarily walks half-way up to the mound, with glove over mouth -- discussing how they are going to face Puig. Wilson sets & delivers, Puig hits routine grounder to Alexei at short, fires to first, one down. Buster Posey hits a blooper that falls behind Lowries' out-stretched glove at second (shallow outfield), runner on first -- The National League is trying to get something going here. Wilson will not face Jason Kipnis, as the N.L. will have Jordy Mercer (who bats right) face Wilson instead; They will also send in Coco Crisp to run for Posey at first. Mercer hits a swinging bunt towards third, Miggy is up with it, fires to first, he beats the throw! Runners on 1st & 2nd, one out with Carlos Gonzalez coming up to the plate; Gonzalez hit a HR earlier in the bottom of the 1st, for the National League's only run of the game. The N.L. decides to let the lefty Gonzalez face off against lefty Wilson -- ending up hitting straight to Lowrie to start an inning-ending double-play.
Top of the 6th
Hisashi Iwakuma stays in for the N.L., but make several changes to defense, Yasiel Puig who pinch-hit for Freeman, will take over in right field for Michael Cuddyer (Cuddyer finished 1-for-2, with a double) -- while Chris Davis takes over at first base, Jordy Mercer takes over at second, and Devin Mesoraco will be the catcher. Matt Holliday starts the inning off for the American League, as he takes over at DH for Victor Martinez (0-for-1, BB); Holliday strikes out. The rest of the inning goes out in 1-2-3 fashion for Iwakuma & the National League.
Bottom of the 6th
James Shields takes over for C.J. Wilson, after a scoreless inning of work. Adrian Beltre hits a single that sneaks pass Alexei Ramirez at short, Beltre's second hit of the game. The left-handed hitter Matt Carpenter will come in to pinch-hit for Edwin Encarnacion, taking over the DH spot. Carpenter ends up flying to center, two down. Troy Tulowitzki hits a double, Beltre rounds third but holds. Evan Longoria will come in to pinch-run for Beltre, he's not much faster. The American League is not taking any chances, and goes to the pen for reliever David D. Carpenter of the Brooklyn Mets; Carpenter has 10 Saves this season for the Mets, with a 1.17 ERA (5th best among A.L. relievers). Carpenter will face off against Chris "Crush" Davis; Carpenter winds up, and smokes it passed Davis for the big K! Score remains, American League 6, National League 1
|Bumgarner pitched three strong innings for American League.|
Top of the 7th
Kenley Jansen takes over on the mound for the National League, Jansen ranks second in the N.L. with 19 Saves -- he will have to face Jed Lowrie to start the inning. Lowrie ends up popping it out. The A.L. calls on David Wright to take over for Miguel Cabrera, as Wright grabs some lumber; Wright grounds out for out number two. Allen Craig strikes out to finish the 1-2-3 inning for Jansen.
Bottom of the 7th
David Carpenter will stay in for the American League, while David Wright (as expected) takes over for Cabrera at third, Shane Victorino moves over to center, Jay Bruce comes in to play right, as Adam Jones' night is finished. Yasiel Puig leads off with double against Carpenter. Devin Mesoraco flies to center, Puig tags up & Victorino guns him down at third, a double play! A big momentum killer, as the American League inches closer to victory. Josh Donaldson comes in to pinch-hit for Jordy Mercer; The A.L. counters with Mariano Rivera, coming in from the pen. Rivera strikes out Donaldson to end the inning.
Top of the 8th
Cliff Lee of that great Portland rotation takes over on the mound for Jansen. Daniel Murphy of the Kings, takes over at second -- Donaldson is out; Jhonny Peralta will take over at shortstop for Troy Tulowitzki. Jay Bruce hits one out double off of Lee. Yadier Molina grounds out for out number two, Bruce stays at second. Greg Holland comes in for Lee, after 2/3 of an inning -- and strikes out Matt Holliday for the third out.
Bottom of the 8th
South Shore's Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Japanese import is having a great rookie year for the Imps. Alfonso Soriano will come in to pinch-hit for Carlos Gonzalez, there are no more position players on the bench for the National League now -- I think at this point, they feel a comeback is looking highly unlikely. Ryu strikes out Soriano for out number one. That's it for Ryu, as the American League is trying to get everyone in there, they will have Koji Uehara face the National League's last remaining starter in Mike Trout. Uehara strikes out Trout & gets Evan Longoria to fly out.
Top of the 9th
Hannibal's Craig Breslow comes in for Holland to face Alexei Ramirez; Ramirez strikes out. Daniel Nava draws a walk. Brandon Phillips takes over for Lowrie; Phillips flies to center -- two down. David Wright pops it up.
Bottom of the 9th
Joe Nathan comes in to finish off the National League, as Brandon Phillips takes over at second. Matt Carpenter & Jhonny Peralta are quickly retired, it's all up to Chris Davis. Nathan strikes Davis out, as the American League wins again!
AMERICAN LEAGUE 6
NATIONAL LEAGUE 1
ALL-STAR GAME - Most Valuable Player
Adam Jones (FAIR) - 1-for-2, 3-run HR, BB, run
WP- Madison Bumgarner (FAIR)
LP- Anibal Sanchez (POR)