Bud Selig

National League makes it a winning streak, according to Chipper Jones

In this year’s midsummer classic, the National League beat the American League 8-0 to make it three in a row, just as Bay Area Stats Guy predicted. According to the pregame speech by Chipper Jones, that makes it a winning streak.

Melky Cabrera saw one pitch and lined a base hit in the top of the first. After that, Fox’s Joe Buck and Tim McCarver spent some time commenting on how he will garner a ton of interest in the off season. He will, but let’s not worry about that right now.

Ryan Braun followed up with a double to deep right, and Cabrera scored the NL’s first run.

AL starter Justin Verlander struggled to hit the strike zone with his fastball early, but it was a low curve ball that Pablo Sandoval shot down the right field line for a triple with the bases loaded (the first in All-Star Game history), making the score 4-0.

Right then, Sandoval showed that he deserved to be an All-Star. Despite all the talk heading into the game about him starting over David Wright thanks to Giants fans, he got the big hit to put the NL up big.

Buster Posey was a part of that group that scored after walking on four pitches.

Sandoval later scored to make it 5-0 as the NL batted around against probably the best pitcher in baseball.

After that, the NL didn’t look back with strong pitching from starter Matt Cain, Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, Clayton Kershaw, R.A. Dickey, Cole Hamels, Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, Wade Miley, Joel Hanrahan and Jonathan Pablebon.

I name them all because, as Jim Rome put it on Twitter, “You cannot get shutout in an All-Star game. Almost as bad as the game ending in a tie.”

I dunno about that, but it was impressive what the NL staff did.

And there was more offense.

Matt Holiday singled Furcal in, and Melky Cabrera homered off Matt Harrison in the fourth to push the score to 8-0.

Despite the ballot box stuffing and controversial decision to start Cain over R.A. Dickey, the Giants players were big contributors to the NL victory.

  •      Matt Cain: W, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 SO
  •      Melky Cabrera: 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
  •      Buster Posey: 0-2, BB, R
  •      Pablo Sandoval: 1-2, 3B, 3 RBI, R

The game summary in the late innings featured all Giants in Cain, Cabrera and Sandoval.

Matt Kemp even said “It’s the San Francisco Giants show so far” during the fourth inning when Fox showed him in the dugout.

Yes, even the Los Angeles Dodger Matt Kemp acknowledged the Giants’ success. The entire NL should, in a way, be thanking Giants fans after the performance of San Francisco players.

Joe Buck even agreed when, in the bottom of the ninth, he said “All the talk about Giants fans stuffing the ballot box… I think they knew what they were talking about.”

Sandoval’s post game interview with Erin Andrews (it’s weird seeing her on Fox) was a good one when he shrugged off the question about starting over David Wright, and did so in a respectful way in typical “I just go out and play” Panda fashion.

To top it all off, Melky Cabrera was named the 2012 MLB All-Star Game MVP. Not surprisingly, Twitter favored Melky Cabrera as the MVP, followed by Ryan Braun and Pablo Sandoval.

Fox’s handling of Matt Cain over R.A. Dickey

Fox’s crew didn’t discuss the topic in pregame much, and Buck and McCarver only touched on it briefly. Rather than taking a stance on the Cain vs. Dickey debate, they just laid out the facts, for the most part.

Erin Andrews asked Dickey about not starting, and the crew did discuss it, but not as much as they could have.

Ken Rosenthal interviewed Cain after he finished his two shutout innings, and asked him about Giants fans stuffing the ballot box. Cain answered the right way and said “It was great,” and then followed up saying that it made him comfortable to have so many of his teammates around him, especially Buster Posey behind the plate.

That’s probably the biggest reason why Tony La Russa went with Cain rather than Dickey. Starting Cain makes more baseball sense, and the All-Star Game matters for something other than bragging rights in baseball. La Russa knows that, and Judging from the score, he made the right decision, despite some objections around baseball (particularly New York).

A few other notes

-Fox’s graphic for Matt Cain in the bottom of the first said he was second in the AL in innings pitched. I chuckled.

-After Brian Wilson was fined for his cleats during the All-Star Game a few years ago, it seems like more and more players are wearing more “creative” cleats without as much outrage. This year, Melky Cabrera’s bright orange cleats got attention, as did Bryce Harper’s golden spikes.

-Melky Cabrera got a strong ovation from the Kansas City crowd despite the Jonathan Sanchez-Cabrera trade working out much better for the Giants. That might have pumped him up a bit and made him more comfortable for the game.

-51.61% of BASG readers said that the MLB All-Star festivities are the best. Maybe the Giants fans swayed that data too, but either way it was interesting to see.


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