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Prince Fielder powers National League to second straight All-Star Game victory

Jul 13, 2011, 12:09 AM EDT

National League first baseman Fielder of the Brewers watches three-run home run in fourth inning during Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Phoenix Reuters

The National League defeated the American League 5-1 at tonight’s All-Star Game at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, clinching home field advantage for the World Series for the second straight season. This is the first time the National League has won back-to-back All-Star Games since they took home three straight from 1994-1996.

Prince Fielder won the MVP for his go-ahead three-run homer off C.J. Wilson in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the National League’s pitching was dominant. The American League managed just six hits, the lone run scoring when Adrian Gonzalez took Cliff Lee deep in the top of the fourth inning. By the way, that home run by Gonzalez was the first homer in an All-Star Game since J.D. Drew in 2008.

Interestingly, Nationals right-hander Tyler Clippard was credited with the win, despite giving up a hit to the only batter he faced. Clippard came on in relief of Lee in the top of the fourth and gave up a single to Adrian Beltre, but Hunter Pence threw out Jose Bautista at home plate for the final out of the inning.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy selected four of his pitchers for the National League roster, but Brian Wilson was the only one who made an appearance. He recorded the final two outs of the ballgame after Joel Hanrahan ran into a little trouble, thanks to some sloppy defense. Coincidence or not, he used a pair of Phillies (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee) and three Braves pitchers (Jair Jurrjens, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel). All due to respect to Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong, but if there’s anybody that needs a rest, it’s Venters and Kimbrel.

It was a quick game, just a hair under three hours, but I think we’ll hear a lot about who wasn’t there for the American League. And I’m not talking about Derek Jeter. The injury to Josh Beckett changed things a bit, but the only starters to pitch in the game for the American League were Jered Weaver, Michael Pineda, C.J Wilson, Alexi Ogando and Gio Gonzalez. And that’s obviously not the best the American League has to offer. If the All-Star game is supposed to “count,” something will have to change.

  1. Utley's Hair - Jul 13, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    Two questions here:
    —What happened to all that talk about starters being required to do two innings?
    —How does the pitcher who did not record an out, and, therefore, was not the pitcher of record when the go-ahead run was scored, get the win?

    And good job with the blog, DJ.

    • D.J. Short - Jul 13, 2011 at 1:40 AM

      Thank you.

    • cktai - Jul 13, 2011 at 4:59 AM

      I’m guessing here but I would think
      — Weaver appeared to be slightly injured
      — He was the pitcher when the out was made, so it counts towards his innings pitched and makes him the pitcher of record. (If you induce a triple play on your first pitch as a relief pitcher, then you will have had 1 IP and 1 pitches per inning)

      • cktai - Jul 13, 2011 at 5:00 AM

        Actually ignore that Weaver comment. That was Beckett. Not sure what happened there.

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 13, 2011 at 12:17 PM

        There was a post on here somewhere before the game saying that Washington had innings one through five scripted, with Weaver pitching just the first. The whole thing made no sense to me. Why all the stink about Doc being required to—and doing—pitch the first two, how or why would Washington be able to get Weaver out of there after the first?

  2. FC - Jul 13, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    You can’t complain with the choices of Weaver and Pineda. Ogando is pretty decent. Good ERA and WHIP. Ron “Don Ramon” Washington (Gator should get that reference) should have used Weaver and Pineda for 2 IP each.

    • D.J. Short - Jul 13, 2011 at 1:39 AM

      Not complaining about Weaver and Pineda. They are studs. But by-and-large, this pitching staff was underwhelming. Effective, but underwhelming. Just not what you want to see in an All-Star Game.

      • paperlions - Jul 13, 2011 at 9:10 AM

        True…but look at the guys that couldn’t pitch for the AL because of the Sunday Start rule or injury: Felix, CC, Verlander, Price, Lester, Beckett…..that is a lot of top arms unavailable for the game.

  3. Chris Ross - Jul 13, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    I don’t think that was the best all-star game in the world obviously but I still enjoyed it. It’s just something about having all the best players (even though some skipped out) playing together and against each other on one field. It’s fun to see Roy Halladay rock through a lineup that features 9 of the best hitters in the American League. National League now has home field advantage, which I don’t quite understand the point of. I wonder how the ratings were for this all-star game because they have been faltering lately. Either way, another all-star game is in the books and it’s back to the real world. Half a season to go!

    http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/creating-meaning-out-of-chaos/

  4. kiwicricket - Jul 13, 2011 at 1:13 AM

    “By the way, that home run by Gonzalez was the first homer in an All-Star Game since J.D. Drew in 1998″

    Not so sure about that one. 2008 perhaps?

    • D.J. Short - Jul 13, 2011 at 1:19 AM

      Sorry. Obviously. The K-Rod deal distracted me!

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 13, 2011 at 1:20 AM

      Meh…just like most Mutts fans, 2007 and 2008 have vanished from his memory banks.

  5. kiwicricket - Jul 13, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    Great work with the blog DJ. (and posters)

    • D.J. Short - Jul 13, 2011 at 1:39 AM

      Thanks!

  6. crazyfatima8 - Jul 13, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    Ahh! Congrats NL. 2 time NL WON TODAY N LAST YEAR

  7. Jonny 5 - Jul 13, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    “Coincidence or not, he used a pair of Phillies (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee) and three Braves pitchers (Jair Jurrjens, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel). All due to respect to Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong, but if there’s anybody that needs a rest, it’s Venters and Kimbrel.”

    And Lee was on short rest, not a biggie but keep it to an inning for a guy who just pitched Sat night. I kind of think it could have been an “FU” from Bochy, while others will give me crap and say it was honoring their pitchers. I call BS.

    • kellyb9 - Jul 13, 2011 at 11:26 AM

      Hey- as long as the NL wins so the Phils can be home for the World Series, I’m fine with it.

  8. foreverchipper10 - Jul 13, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    Thank you for clearing up how Clippard got the win. In the article I read this morning about it it said Clippard got the win despite giving up a hit to the only batter he faced. It did not mention Bautista being thrown out. The box score said he pitched 1/3 of an inning and allowed one hit. The article said he faced one batter. My head nearly exploded.

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 13, 2011 at 12:18 PM

      I think I saw the same report, which prompted my question.

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