American League Highlights From the 84th All-Star Game • Latino Sports

Baseball

American League Highlights From the 84th All-Star Game

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Image Credit: Bill Menzel

Image Credit: Bill Menzel

Flushing, Queens- Tuesday night was unmistakably a night to remember, for the American League that is. Before we store it away in the archives, let’s take a look back at all the highlights that led to the AL’s 3-0 lead over the National League.

1st inning- It began with a scare for the American Leaguers, as New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano got drilled in the knee on a pitch by the New York Mets’ Matt Harvey. While undoubtedly an accident, perhaps it will reignite the fierce rivalry between the two New York clubs. Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels gets the first hit of the game, a double to right field. The AL would out-hit the NL 9-3 for the game.

It got worse for the American League in the fourth inning when a fan wearing a New York Yankees t-shirt stormed the field, running from left field, and making it towards second base. Trying to decide his next move with security closing in on him for the tackle, the man slips and falls on the dirt ending his great escape. A piece of baseball history that only the price of admission would get you as it was not shown on television.

Meanwhile, Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox faced six hitters in the second and third innings and got them all, becoming the only pitcher for either team to go two innings.

In the top of the fourth, the AL scored their first run of the game, when the Toronto Blue Jays’ slugger Jose Bautista hit a sacrifice-fly to center field, scoring last season’s triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, 1-0 AL.

The AL doubled their lead in the top of the fifth inning for a 2-0 advantage, as Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles hit a double, moved to third on a single by Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins, and then scored on a fielders-choice ground out RBI from teammate J.J. Hardy.

More AL dominance in the eighth inning, as Jason Kipnis of the Cleveland Indians hits an RBI-double, scoring Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals from third base for a 3-0 AL lead.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, one of the biggest surprises of All-Star weekend occurred.

Image Credit: Bill Menzel

Image Credit: Bill Menzel

A camera inside the AL bullpen showed a lone figure throwing to a catcher, and then the door opened, and ‘Enter Sandman,’ blared from the speakers at Citi Field. Out walked 13 time All-Star Mariano Rivera of the Yankees, and the rest felt more like a dream.

For the first time it appeared as if the song would reach its conclusion, something that never happens at Yankee Stadium when Rivera takes the mound in the ninth inning for a save opportunity. Leading 3-0, it would only have been a save for Rivera if he would go all six outs for the remainder of the game, an unlikely scenario.

The standing ovation continued to pour out across the stadium, as Rivera, doffing his cap to the crowd at every angle he could, looked dazed and overwhelmed. Not only was the sellout crowd of 45,000 plus clapping and cheering, but so too were the dugouts of each team, as every player stood in admiration of the greatest closer in the history of the sport, doing it while leaving Rivera as the only player on the diamond.

As usual, Rivera made quick work of his opponents. Jean Segura of the Milwaukee Brewers grounded-out, Allen Craig of the St. Louis Cardinals flied-out, while Carlos Gomez of the Brew Crew grounded out to end the inning.

Controversy surrounded the move however. Many wanted to know why Rivera pitched the eighth and not the ninth inning. AL manager Jim Leyland said that it was due towards trying to ensure that Rivera got a chance to pitch, but more importantly, that he got to pitch with the lead. Leyland was afraid that in the game of baseball, something freaky could have happened with someone else on the mound in the eighth, that maybe the NL would tie or take the lead when Rivera came in the ninth.

Rivera was happy with the plan, and said that while he did not expect to come into the game in the eighth, he was aware that it was a possibility.

Leyland spoke about having the players staying in the dugout to be a bit staged, especially for a man who hails from a small town, but that he hoped he passed the entertainment part of the game.

Rivera was mostly speechless in his post-game interview, using words like: amazing, indescribable and unbelievable in an attempt to put words to a moment that may not have fully sunk in.

In addition, Rivera became just the second Yankee, in addition to teammate Derek Jeter, to win an MVP award during the All-Star game.

The American League may have won 3-0, but Tuesday night at Citi Field was purely a win for the fans, a win for baseball, a win that the sport had to have.

About Oren Vourman

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