Stars Shine Bright Part 2

Carl Crawford shined the brightest among the star studded rosters that participated in the 80th All Star Game last night.  With a game saving catch to rob the Rockies’ Brad Hawpe of a home run and a 1-3 night at the plate, Carl Crawford was awarded the All Star Game MVP trophy from the commish Bud Selig.  A great honor for Crawford who’s STELLAR play kept the AL in the game and gave them their 12th win in 13 years of All Star play.  Congrats to Crawford for his achievement.

The game was a very good one, keeping me alert at all times.  Different from the Home Run Derby the night before, the game was exciting and it was definitely worth watching.  Most of the action happened early as the AL scored twice in the top of the first.  The NL scored three times in the bottom of the second to go ahead in the game.  Hmmmm.  Maybe the NL had a shot at winning this thing.  Well, maybe not.

In the fifth, the AL tied the score up with a run on a combined effort from Joe Mauer and Derek Jeter.  The game then stayed scorelss until the eighth in which my favorite player, Curtis Granderson, tripled to deep left off the wall.  Just missing a home run, Granderson swiftly made his way to third to put the go ahead run on.  He was then driven in by an Adam Jones deep sacrifice fly.  In fact when the ball first left his bat, I thought it was going out, but the wind must have knocked it down because it was just short of the warning track.  It was deep enough to drive in Granderson and the AL went ahead.

The NL was then on the ropes for yet another loss in the All Star Game.  They were unable to score in the bottom of the eighth as Joe Nathan got out of a little jam in which he had walked a guy and gave up a hit.  In the bottom of the ninth, as he has his whole career, Mariano Rivera stepped up to the mound and shut down the NL 1-2-3.

Now, as I said in my first edition of this post, defense is a huge aspect of baseball, whether you think it is or not.  In last night’s game, the ball off Brad Hawpe’s bat would have left the yard (barely) if it wasn’t for the great hustle from Crawford.  His great concentration allowed him to catch the ball while hitting the wall.  Michael Young made a couple nice plays over at third base in place for Evan Longoria who was a late scratch with an infection of his finger.  All over the field, people were making some good plays.  Ironically enough, each team had an error.  Well, it didn’t seem to make that much of a difference but still… kind of ironic.

The All Star Game was a blast to watch.  I was pumped that Curtis Granderson was a huge part of the game with his triple and game winning run.  I didn’t know if he would get that much playing time but he did.  In fact, his first at bat was when he hit the triple.  That was the turning point in the game.  It broke a tie and it broke the NL’s chances of winning for the first time in 13 years.  Also, I was glad that Jeter and Rivera had good games.  Teixeira didn’t really have any huge plays but his presence at first was felt as he played a solid game.  The Yankees were well represented with their old skipper on the opposite bench, Joe Torre.

The starting pitching was supposed to be STELLAR but in fact, it wasn’t that STELLAR.  Lincecum had trouble in the first inning where he gave up two runs on two hits.  On the other side of things, Halladay gave up three runs on four hits.  Only two of them were earned as one run scored on a Josh Hamilton throwing error.  The rest of the game, the pitching was pretty good.  Solid all around and it was a great thing to watch.

The All Star Game in general was pleasing to me.  It got me back on track with baseball after a disappointing Home Run Derby Monday night.  I’m pumped for the rest of the season and it is going to be a good one.  The stars shone bright last night and the stars are going to shine bright the rest of the season as the playoffs near.  The Yankees and Red Sox race for the top of the AL East is going to be a good one.  The NL Central is about as tight as it gets.  Everyone’s got a chance.  The AL Central looks like the Tigers are going to take it.  The Dodgers are still the best team in the bigs and will continue to play like it.  Manny’s return will help them even more.  It’s going to be a great second half of the season and I am psyched.

-Dillon

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