Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Stars & Stripes All-Star Game

The Stars & Stripes Game (for the "Crazy 48's") is underway, an All-Star accumulation of talent from this season; All-Stars from all 48 teams are here in attendance.

Satchel Paige will start for the Stars, as he comes in with a 7-0 record at the All-Star Break for the 1935 Pittsburgh Crawfords (the lone Negro League team in the league); He pitched a no-hitter earlier this against the 1942 St. Louis Cardinals. Paige will face Buck O'Brien of the 1912 Boston Red Sox; O'Brien also comes in with a undefeated record of 7-0, with a league-best 1.11 ERA.

Top of the 2nd - Babe Ruth leads the inning off with a double off of O'Brien for the Stars' first hit of the game. Although Rafael Palmeiro would follow by hitting into a double-play, Hack Wilson would score the first run with a solo blast. STARS 1, STRIPES 0

Bottom of the 3rd - A lead-off double by Billy Martin; Frank Chance follows by striking out against Satchel Paige. "Shoeless Joe" Jackson would knock in the Stripes' first run with a RBI single. The Stars would go to the pen, and bring in Denny McLain to face George Brett; Brett hits into a fielder's choice, as the Stars get Jackson out at second. Barry Bonds would single off McLain, moving Brett up to third; Bonds steals on next pitch. With runners on 2nd & 3rd, Albert Belle smacks a home run to deep center, as the Stars take the lead with his three-run blast. Duke Snider would ground out for final out of the inning. STRIPES 4, STARS 1

Belle brought his big bat to the All-Star Game.

Bottom of the 4th - With Dizzy Dean now on the mound for the Stars, Miguel Tejada leads off by drawing a walk, Jorge Posada would do the same. With runners on 1st & 2nd and no outs, Billy Martin would hit into a force, as the Stars get the Stripes' runner (Posada) out at second. With runners on the corners, Frank Chance would collect an RBI on a sac fly, with Tejada tagging up.

Top of the 5th - With one out, Mark Koenig hits a triple (off of Early Wynn) into right field corner; Pete Rose drives him on the very next at-bat. Rogers Hornsby and Lou Gehrig were not able to do anything more for the Stars that inning. STRIPES 5, STARS 2

Bottom of the 5th - George Brett hits a lead-off double off of Christy Mathewson. Barry Bonds, already with a single & steal in the game, would send a homer over the center field fence, giving the Stripes a commanding, 7-2 lead. Albert Belle flies out for first out. Duke Snider would add to the Stars' misery with a home run of his own, a solo shot; Mathewson is replaced by Nelson Briles.

The remainder of the game would be uneventful, as both teams' pitching staffs kept the game scoreless from then on out.

Albert Belle of the 1995 Indians (1-for-3), would walk away with the game's MVP honors for his game-changing three-run homer during the bottom of the third. Bonds was a close second, going 2-for-3, with a HR, single & stolen base. Belle currently leads both leagues with 17 HR in 24 games.

STRIPES will have home-field advantage for the World Series, which is good news for the following teams in the STRIPES playoff hunt: 1906 Chicago Cubs, 1912 Boston Red Sox, 1917 Chicago White Sox, 1953 New York Yankees, 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers, 1984 Detroit Tigers, 1998 New York Yankees and 1998 San Diego Padres -- plus the 1977 Philadelphia Phillies and the 1995 Cleveland Indians who are sitting outside of the playoff bubble.

So it turns out that Albert may have helped his own team's causes, which can mean bonus for him -- The Indians have heated up as Albert has heated up.

It's all division match-ups from here on out, Cleveland's chances could get better if the 1917 Chicago White Sox, or one of the other teams start stumbling in the other divisions as well.

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