MLB All-Star Game 2012: 5 Reasons Why This Game Was Even Worse Than 2002's Tie
The 2012 All-Star Game is over, and it goes down as one of the least eventful Midsummer Classics in recent memory as the NL jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first inning and came away with an 8-0 victory.
Most would consider the 2002 All-Star Game that ended in a 7-7 extra-inning tie to be the worst All-Star Game ever played and with good reason. It was the motivation behind making the game determine home field advantage and led to the rosters being expanded.
However, after sitting through last night's game, a case can be made that it was less entertaining than the 2002 version that drew so much ire.
Here are five reasons why I think last night's game trumps 2002 as the worst of the worst as far as recent Midsummer Classics are concerned.
The Game Was Seemingly Over Before It Started
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While the game lasted two hours and 59 minutes, it was seemingly over before it started as there was little-to-no action after the top of the first inning.
In total, there were eight 1-2-3 innings, as there were just 12 hits combined after the NL's big top of the first inning.
NL manager Tony La Russa ran through five pitchers over the final two innings, and the subsequent breaks while the pitcher warmed up certainly added to the total time of play.
In the end it was as quick an All-Star Game as I can remember.
In a Game Dominated by Pitching, There Were Only 13 Combined Strikeouts
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While fans don't necessarily want to see a pitcher's duel in the All-Star Game, some of the most memorable performances have come from pitchers dominating the top talent in the game.
The five-strikeout performances of Pedro Martinez and Carl Hubbell rank among the best moments in All-Star Game history.
However, despite the lack of offense there were no real lights-out pitching performances to get excited about either.
The bottom of the eighth saw Craig Kimbrel blow away the only two batters he faced and Aroldis Chapman relieve him and strike out Mark Trumbo, but that was the only truly overpowering performance by any of the game's pitchers.
The Final Eight Innings Saw a Combined 12 Hits, 3 Runs
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When the National League struck for five runs against Tigers' ace Justin Verlander in the first inning, it looked like the game had all the makings of an offensive explosion.
Instead, the teams combined for just three runs on 12 hits the rest of the way, and outside of a three-run home run by Melky Cabrera off of Rangers starter Matt Harrison, there were no more runs scored.
If groundouts and lazy fly balls are what you look for in an All-Star Game, this was the game for you. For everyone else it was a boring final eight innings after an explosive start.
Chipper Jones Batted Once, Saw One Pitch
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One of the biggest stories of All-Star weekend was the impeding retirement of Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, as this was his final All-Star game.
He received as loud an ovation as anyone all weekend long, and when he finally came to the plate in the top of the sixth as a pinch-hitter for DH Carlos Gonzalez, he grounded the first pitch he saw past Ian Kinsler and into right field for a single.
It was a nice end to his All-Star career, but when his spot in the lineup came up again teammate Michael Bourn hit for him as NL manager Tony La Russa attempted to get everyone into the game.
In the end, Jones' time in the spotlight during the game lasted a matter of seconds, and as one of the biggest stories of the weekend it is too bad he did not get a chance to make a bigger impact.
R.A. Dickey Was Not Showcased the Way He Should Have Been
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The first half of the 2012 season has had plenty of good storylines, but none stack up to the emergence of R.A. Dickey as one of the game's top arms.
His first half line of 12-1, 2.40 ERA, 123 K and 120 IP was highlighted by back-to-back one-hitters and a streak of 44.2 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.
Most expected those numbers to be good enough to earn him an All-Star Game start, but Tony La Russa opted for Giants' ace Matt Cain instead.
The All-Star Game was a chance for Dickey to impress in front of a national audience, and for me personally having not seen him pitch much this season, I was looking forward to seeing him throw against the game's best.
Instead, he did not pitch until the sixth inning, throwing all of 15 pitches and his outing was seemingly over before it began. It simply was not the showcase that he or baseball fans deserved.