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HBT All-Star Game live blog

Jul 12, 2011, 11:29 PM EST

Washington Nationals v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

UPDATE: Wilson gets Paul Konerko to ground out to end it. The National League wins 5-1. They will have home field advantage in the World Series for the second straight season. Thanks for hanging out, everyone. Stay tuned for a recap.

11:25 PM: Hey, did you guys know that Brian Wilson has a beard?

11:23 PM: Joel Hanrahan with some vintage Pirates’ action with that ugly throw backing up home plate. Brian Wilson coming on for the final two outs.

11:19 PM: Aw, we just witnessed Starlin Castro‘s first error in an All-Star Game. Adorable.

11:18 PM: Hanrahan sets aside Michael Young, team player for the first out.

11:16 PM: So is the Arizona crowd rooting for Joel Hanrahan to give up four runs here so that Miguel Montero can get his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth?

11:13 PM: Gio Gonzalez does his job at Ron Washington’s LOOGY, striking out Jay Bruce looking. It’s 5-1 NL headed into the top of the ninth.

11:09 PM: Ron Washington using two starters (Alexi Ogando and Gio Gonzalez) here in the bottom of the eighth. How counterintuitive.

11:00 PM: Heath Bell really hamming it up here. I’m sure his agent appreciated the Todd Coffey-like sprint and eventual slide.

10:57 PM: That’s what this game needs. More Zooey Deschanel, please.

10:55 PM: Set up be an uncharacteristic passed ball by Matt Wieters, Brandon League gives up a ground-rule double to Pablo Sandoval that gives the NL a 5-1 lead. I told ya Kung-Fu Panda should have started this one!

10:49 PM: Hunter Pence is a darn good baseball player, but he always looks like a mess out there. All arms and legs.

10:48 PM: Michael Cuddyer in at first base for Miguel Cabrera, who apparently had stiffness in his side. Hopefully he’s not the latest victim in the “Year of the Oblique.”

10:41 PM: After walking Konerko, Craig Kimbrel gets Howie Kendrick to ground out to second base for the final out of the top of the seventh. It’s still 4-1 NL.

And here’s Michelle Branch to sing “God Bless America,” because only people from Arizona are allowed to sing in Arizona.

10:32 PM: And FOX predictably uses Kevin Youkilis as a promo for “Moneyball.” Not surprised, but this just doesn’t feel right.

10:30 PM: Jurrjens getting a second inning here. Interesting. And yes, another reliever (Brandon League) up for the AL. Which closer didn’t make the AL roster? Is Kevin Gregg pitching the eighth? These ridiculous pitching rules really need to change.

10:22 PM: Really cool stuff by Heath Bell. One of Omar Minaya’s greatest hits was sending him to San Diego with Royce Ring for Ben Johnson and Jon Adkins. Who? Exactly.

10:16 PM: I want to give Ron Washington the benefit of the doubt in this game because of Josh Beckett‘s knee, but then I remember that Ron Washington is in charge of the pitching staff.

10:09 PM: Andre Ethier knocks in Rickie Weeks to give the National league a 4-1 lead, cut down on the way to second base for the third out of the inning. Jair Jurrjens coming in for the National League in the top of the sixth. That’s right. A real, genuine starting pitcher. What a novel concept!

10:04 PM: Chris Perez up in the bullpen for the American League. Seriously? Another reliever? This is getting really silly.

10:00 PM: Scott Rolen just looked like he was in pain after being blown away on the strikeout. Probably his last at-bat of the evening, anyway.

9:56 PM: Jordan Walden in for the American League to start the bottom of the fifth. The way pitchers have been used in this game thus far, you’d think there is a severe shortage of starting pitchers in MLB.

9:54 PM: Joe Buck saying David Ortiz shouldn’t get rung up because it’s the All-Star Game. You mean we shouldn’t take this game seriously? It “counts,” doesn’t it? So conflicted.

9:49 PM: Hey Batting Stance Guy, somebody is stealing your schtick.

9:41 PM: Prince Fielder hits a three-run homer, Arizona now crowd cheering. No convictions. Pick a side, people.

9:38 PM: This conversation between Justin Timberlake and Mark Grace is awwwwkward. Don’t think Timberlake knows about Gracie’s recent DUI arrest. By the way, how many movies is this All-Star Game promoting? Losing count.

9:37 PM: Beltran reaches on an infield single. If only we had somebody to make a jump-throw. Oh, who am I kidding, Jeter would have never gloved that…

9:34 PM: Pence guns down Jose Bautista at the plate for the third and final out of the fourth. Would have been interesting if we had a collision there, huh? Alas, Bautista attempted a slide.

9:29 PM: Tyler Clippard‘s kicks may be uglier than Cliff Lee‘s. And that’s saying something.

9:26 PM: The American League is on the board. A solo homer by Adrian Gonzalez. That’s the first home run in an All-Star Game since 2008.

9:23 PM: Hunter Pence replaces Matt Holliday in left while Justin Upton replaces Lance Berkman in right field to begin the top of the fourth inning. Happy now, Arizona?

9:21 PM: Pineda was nasty, not surprisingly. Strikes out two in a scoreless inning. Pitching dominating early in the desert.

9:19 PM: It’s nice to see Scott Rolen and his .241 batting average start the All-Star Game. Anybody know the last guy to start an All-Star Game with a batting average that low?

9:15 PM: It’s Michael Pineda time, it’s Michael Pineda time!

9:12 PM: This is the part where many will ask, “Who the heck is Alex Avila?”

9:11 PM: Cliff Lee obviously stepped in some blue paint on the way to the mound tonight. Either that, or he’s a walking advertisement for the new “Smurfs” movie.

9:05 PM: Berkman had second base stolen on the strikeout, but came off the bag. Including the regular season, he’s now 0-for-4 on stolen base attempts. No score after two innings.

9:03 PM: And…Lance Berkman has our first hit of the evening.

9:01 PM: Jose Bautista doesn’t just hit home runs. An amazing catch in the right field corner. Good thing the Jays are using him at third base.

8:58 PM: Uh oh. Apparently Josh Beckett felt some soreness in his left knee while warming up, so David Robertson (!) will pitch the second inning.

8:56 PM: Adrian Beltre puts a charge in one, but makes the third out on a fly ball to the warning track in right. Halladay tosses two scoreless frames on 19 pitches. Cliff Lee will pitch the third for the NL squad.

8:55 PM: Jose Reyes hanging out with Shane Victorino in the NL dugout. Was also standing next to him in the player intros. As a Mets fan, this alarms me.

8:52 PM: Jose Bautista skies out on the first pitch. At this point, Roy Halladay should just say, “I got this, guys” and go all nine.

8:49 PM: Matt Kemp is our first baserunner of the night. And Prince Fielder is greeted with you guessed it, more boos. Hey Arizona, do you want the National League to win?

8:47 PM: Beltran tanking it in the All-Star Game to affect his trade value. #blamebeltran

8:44 PM: I’m pretty sure Brian Wilson is going to stash Carlos Beltran is in his beard.

8:41 PM: Adrian Gonzalez grounds out to complete a 1-2-3 top of the first. The Home Run Derby obviously messed up his swing.

8:39 PM: One pitch, one out. Curtis Granderson didn’t read Moneyball.

8:37 PM: Michael Cuddyer announcing the lineup for the American League. He’s versatile.

8:31 PM: This crowd quite enjoyed Jordin Sparks’ rendition of the National Anthem. But she’s from Arizona, so that makes sense. Anyhow, let’s play ball already!

8:24 PM: This Arizona crowd is still really giving it to Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks. And well, everyone except Justin Upton, Miguel Montero and Kirk Gibson. They seem to like Josh Hamilton a little bit, too. Weird stuff.

8:19 PM: Win the Home Run Derby, bat eighth. Funny how that works.

8:17 PM: Gee, lots of Giants at this game. It’s almost like their manager is choosing…oh right.

8:13 PM: The player intros have always been my favorite part of the All-Star Game. Yankees always booed, pin drops for Aaron Crow.

8:11 PM: Joe Buck must have the Mets’ doctors looking after his vocal cords. Seriously, is he OK?

8:09 PM: Brad Pitt is narrating this opening montage. I wonder if he has a movie coming out soon…

8:07 PM: I think we should get a petition started banning Smash Mouth from All-Star competition.

8:00 PM: You might not realize this, but I was this close to being named an injury replacement for the National League All-Star team. Unfortunately I finished sixth on the player ballot for third base. Anyhow, since I won’t be attending the game, I figured a live blog would have to suffice.

Tune in right here for my random thoughts and observations throughout the evening. Feel free to join the conversation in our comments section. I’m setting the over/under on complaints about Joe Buck and Tim McCarver at 37.

Here are the lineups for tonight’s game, which will be rendered meaningless by the second or third inning:

American League: Curtis Granderson (CF), Asdrubal Cabrera (SS), Adrian Gonzalez (1B), Jose Bautista (RF), Josh Hamilton (LF), Adrian Beltre (3B), David Ortiz (DH), Robinson Cano (2B), Alex Avila (C)

National League: Rickie Weeks (2B), Carlos Beltran (DH), Matt Kemp (CF), Prince Fielder (1B), Brian McCann (C), Lance Berkman (RF), Matt Holliday (LF), Troy Tulowitzki (SS), Scott Rolen (3B)

And your All-Star Game Starting Pitchers:

Roy Halladay (NL) vs. Jered Weaver (AL)

Since this one “counts,” my official prediction is that the National League will secure home field advantage in the World Series for a second straight year. I’m a National League guy, though, so I’d probably say that even if they were running the Padres’ starting lineup out there. Let’s go, Kevin Correia!

160 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. easports82 - Jul 12, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    Well that was ugly. Good job, Matt.

  2. easports82 - Jul 12, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    DJ – looks like Washington found the AL starters

  3. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 12, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    It’s high time for pie time everyone!

  4. royalsfaninfargo - Jul 12, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    Look a Indiana Jones and James Bond are in a new western movie!

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:00 PM

      Indiana Jones and the Octapussy of Doom

  5. halladaysbiceps - Jul 12, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    This game is in the books. NL will win. And you can take that to the bank.

  6. royalsfaninfargo - Jul 12, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    Awesome slide by Bell!

  7. easports82 - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    Hey Heath: FIX YOUR DIVOTS!

  8. halladaysbiceps - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    What did Health Bell just do???? He looked like he was running for some food.

  9. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    Just in case Venters and Kimbrell didn’t pitch in enough games this year, they both pitch in the all-star game. Is it me, or does anyone think Brenly thought he would burn out both the Phillies aces, Jurrgens, and the two Braves stud bullpen arms? I smell a conspiracy ;)

    • halladaysbiceps - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:01 PM

      I thought that immediately. Thought Brenly was trying to get them hurt.

    • royalsfaninfargo - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:02 PM

      Bochy

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:03 PM

        Anuthor kandidait fur the EITD BUTTIN

      • halladaysbiceps - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:04 PM

        Bochy, Brenly. What’s the difference? I’m on my 14th beer and could care less at this point.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:04 PM

      Bongy

      • royalsfaninfargo - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:10 PM

        McCarver should hit the bongy, he would be a hell of a lot funnier.

  10. Jonny 5 - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    Bell, the James Brown of relief pitchers. Someone. Get that man a cape.

  11. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    10 sellouts for the Pirates? Did they play the Phillies 10 times this year or something?

    • Jonny 5 - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:09 PM

      Dollar dog night. Times has been rough in the burg lately.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:20 PM

        I hear Joe Buck say “Hanrahan” and all I can think about is Slap Shot….”Hey Hanrahan…Suzanne sucks *****” I know what I am watching after the game.

  12. easports82 - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    Is this one of the quickest ASG over the last few years?

  13. uuddlrlrbastart - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    So, Washington gave every closer in the league an inning and now the starters are getting partial innings?

    This time it counts!

    • royalsfaninfargo - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:12 PM

      He is channeling his inner LaRussa

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:13 PM

        LaRussa had to change his underwear 11 times while watching this game. Imagine how many underwear changes he would need if he were actually managing this one…

      • royalsfaninfargo - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:16 PM

        Im sure he would be pissed about all the unwritten rules getting broken

  14. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    Family Guy on WGN update: Stewie and Brian are running from German U-boats. Torpedoes! They’re hit! The ol newspaper in the windshield trick and the dumb guys crash.

  15. Jonny 5 - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    This sure would be a show if they had the Joe West crew working tonight. Joe coulda sung the national anthem too. Kuato could pop out of his neck and play harmonica.

  16. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    THIS BALLGAME IS OVA!

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:20 PM

      whoops, Cubs baseball ….

  17. Utley's Hair - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    Unabomber time.

  18. macjacmccoy - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    I get 9 thumbs down which is cool but Im not wrong. Not 1 Giants pitcher has been used I guess thats a coincidence . He wasnt going to bring Wilson in either but got forced into it by bad fielding mistakes and a good matchup for Wilson vs Cuddyer. The guys a jackass plain and simple.

    • easports82 - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:31 PM

      Send a letter to Selig and ask him to form a committee to investigate this. They’ll get back to you in a couple years… maybe.

  19. onebro5 - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    I have an idea – let’s have the MLB Allstar game next year in Antartica or maybe the Sahara Desert! I’m sorry, but I live in Phoenix and I think Bud Selig and MLB were absolutely Stupid for having the Allstar game in Phoenix, in the middle of July where it’s only a 118+ degrees outside the airport in the Sun. Where in the hell is everyone going to party after the game in a 110 degrees! Baseball’s Allstar game should be played somewhere with nice outdoor weather, like Coors Field, where Summer is beautiful and the nights are cool. LoDo is a great place to party! Phoenix, we can’t even make our downtown attractive to our own residents. People do not party in Downtown Phoenix! I hope Baseball never schedule’s another Stupid Allstar game again here… at least in this eternity. Hey Bud… next year try Hell – I hear it’s really hot there!

  20. halladaysbiceps - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    Hahahahahahaha!!!! Darth Selig was presenting the award to Fielder. Selig was looking at Fielder’s kids’ hair and laughing. Selig was thinking to himself “What the hell am I doing here?”

  21. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    Epic Joe Buck Fail…

    http://larrybrownsports.com/baseball/joe-buck-cites-willie-mays-interview-from-wall-street-journal-that-never-happened/76982

  22. pjmarn6 - Jul 13, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    The all star game has never had an appeal for me. BUT HERE IS AN IDEA THAT HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN. A MID SEASON ONE WEEK MINI WORLD SERIES! Take the top 8 teams and have them play one game against each other. 7 games in total and they will count in the standings. So fans across the country can see the best of the best 7 days running for a full seven days. AND TO MAKE IT FAIR FOR THE “FANS” THE GAMES WILL RUN ON “FREE” NATIONAL TV. WOWSIE PAYING BACK THE FANS! INSTANTANEOUS HATRED OF BUD SELIG AND ALL AGENTS AGAINST THIS IDEA.
    ALL THE OTHER TEAMS WILL GET A 7 DAY BREAK BUT SOMEHOW THE COMPUTERS WILL BE PROGRAMMED FOR ALL THE OTHER TEAMS TO PLAY 7 MORE GAMES AFTER THE MINI WORLD SERIES. JESUS THIS MAKES SO MUCH MORE SENSE THAN GIVING A PITCHER WHO PITCHED 1/3 OF AN INNING A WIN FOR THE WORLD SERIES OR SEEING AN “ALL STAR” WHO HIT .231 NAMED TO THE TEAM. AND AT LEAST THE PLAYER AND THE TEAM CAN’T BOW OUT BECAUSE THE PITCHER JUST PITCHED OR THE PLAYER IS HURTING FOR A DAY OR TWO.

  23. pjmarn6 - Jul 13, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    WANT TO CORRECT A COUPLE OF ERRORS IN PREVIOUS COMMENT. …..MAKES SO MUCH MORE SENSE THAN GIVING A PITCHER WHO PITCHED 1/3 OF AN INNING A WIN FOR THE “ALL STAR GAME”……AND THIS WOULD TAKE THE PLACE OF THE “ALL STAR GAME” THE SEVEN GAMES COULD BE REDUCED FROM THE NORMAL SCHEDULE OF THE 8 TEAMS WHO PLAYED IN THE MINI WORLD SERIES. AND TO MAKE IT VERY CLEAR, THESE GAMES WOULD BE AT THE MID WAY POINT IN THE SEASON. ONE DAY OFF PRIOR TO THE MINI WORLD SERIES AND ONE DAY OFF AFTER THE MINI WORLD SERIES ONLY FOR THE TEAMS WHICH PARTICIPATE IN THE MINI WORLD SERIES. THINK ABOUT IT, FANS ACROSS THE WORLD WOULD BE ABLE TO SEE THE GREATEST PLAYERS PLAY SEVEN GAMES DURING THE SEASON. AND AT THE END OF THE YEAR, OF COURSE THE NORMAL WORLD SERIES AND THERE WOULD BE NO GUARANTEE THAT THE SAME EIGHT TEAMS WOULD BE IN THE PLAY OFFS OR WORLD SERIES. HELL WHO WANTS TO SEE A GREAT PITCHER PITCH TO ONE BATTER OR ONE GREAT BATTER HAVE ONE AT BAT?

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