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Things You May Have Missed: Analyzing the 2011 MLB All-Star Game

Dave Dulberg, James Santelli |
July 12, 2011 | 9:17 p.m. PDT

Staff Writers

Jose Bautista made his presence known with the glove for once. (Keith Allison, Wikimedia Commons)
Jose Bautista made his presence known with the glove for once. (Keith Allison, Wikimedia Commons)
Dave Dulberg

-- Power-hitting outfielder Jose Bautista may have led both All-Star rosters with over seven million fan votes, but he proved Tuesday night that he’s more than just the 85 home runs he has slugged the last year and a half. Now splitting time as the Blue Jays' everyday third baseman and right fielder, the two-time All-Star looked right at home at Chase Field, making a gorgeous 2nd-inning grab in foul territory off the bat of the Braves' Brian McCann. He would also later add an outfield assist in the 5th inning.

-- Rarely do you see a setup man pitch in the 2nd inning of an All-Star game, but the Yankees' David Robertson has been answering the call all season. With 1st half injuries to high-priced relievers Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain, Robertson (2-0, 1.27 ERA and 56 strikeouts) has provided a remarkable spark in the Yankees' bullpen in 2011. On Tuesday night, he was forced into duty (pitched a scoreless inning) after Red Sox ace Josh Beckett appeared to re-aggravate a knee injury he sustained over the weekend.

-- Adrian Gonzalez's solo home run in the 4th inning should come as no surprise to fans in the Valley of the Sun. During his time as a Padre, the left-handed Gonzalez wore out pitching at Chase Field to the tune of 13 home runs and a slugging percentage of .602. His round-tripper was also the first in an All-Star Game since 2008.

-- Hunter Pence saved a run for the NL with in an inning-ending assist in the 4th to gun down Bautista at the plate. Not surprisingly, the Astros' outfielder came into the Midsummer Classic leading the league in outfield assists with nine.

-- Despite having names like George Brett, Henry Aaron, Cecil Cooper, Paul Molitor and Dave Parker represent the Brewers at prior All-Star games, Prince Fielder's three-run shot to left center in the 4th inning was the franchise's first in the game's 82-year history. After Tuesday night, the Diamondbacks (which were established in 1998) are the only team not to have a player hit a home run in the Midsummer Classic.

-- Cubs' shortstop Starlin Castro stole two bases in the 5th inning. In doing so, he tied Roberto Alomar, Kelly Gruber, Kenny Lofton and Willie Mays for most bases swiped in an All-Star Game.

-- From the looks of it on Tuesday night, you would have thought San Diego Padres' closer Heath Bell was making his All-Star debut. The three-time All-Star was seen throughout the FOX broadcast chatting it up with fans and making the most of his time in Phoenix. When it was time for his appearance in the game itself, the 260-pound Bell stole the show with a ten-second 100-yard dash from the bullpen to the mound, capped off by a very entertaining feet-first slide.

-- The drought continued in the Arizona desert Tuesday night, and it had nothing to do with the plus-100 temperatures and dry heat. For the sixth straight year, the two teams (six runs) combined for less than 10 runs-the second longest streak of offensive ineptitude in All-Star Game history.

James Santelli

-- Roy Halladay continued his dominance on the mound. The Phillies ace among aces has a 2.44 ERA and 1.03 WHIP since the beginning of the 2010 season. The National League starter pitched scoreless innings in the 1st and 2nd without allowing a single baserunner.

-- It was a pretty good day for all NL pitchers not named Cliff Lee. Non-Lee pitchers combined for no runs on eight innings, allowing just three hits and one walk.

-- Heaven knows why the Cardinals' Lance Berkman tried to steal second in the 2nd inning. Berkman has not successfully stolen a base since June of last year, and his awful slide into second base showed why the great hitter should stay put on the basepaths.

-- AL manager Ron Washington used two of his own Texas pitchers, C.J. Wilson and Alexi Ogando, in the game. But Oakland's only representative, pitcher Gio Gonzalez, faced just one hitter. And Aaron Crow, the only All-Star from Kansas City, didn't see the field. It's unfortunate for Royals fans that their only representative didn't get a chance to check into the game.

-- Boston's Adrian Gonzalez and Milwaukee's Prince Fielder continued the Home Run Derby on Tuesday night. The Derby participants had the only two homers in the All-Star Game.

-- Tyler Clippard of the Washington Nationals "earned" the win for the National League. The middle reliever faced just one hitter, Adrian Beltre, who singled off him. Another case for the importance of win-loss record for pitchers.

-- The American League was hurt by the number of pitchers who had to drop out due to injury or ineligbility after pitching on Sunday. Seven pitchers had to be replaced for the AL. Legitimate All-Stars like Félix Hernandez, Justin Verlander or Mariano Rivera would have helped the AL team, which gave up nine hits and five runs in the loss.

-- Final count on players used: 60, including ten pitchers for the National League.

-- Good luck to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who will play Game 1 of the World Series at PNC Park.


Reach Dave by email. Reach James by email or follow him on Twitter, @JamesSantelli.



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