Ranking the 10 Greatest Moments of the 2013 MLB All-Star Game
The 84th MLB All-Star Game is in the books, and the American League ending its three-year losing streak with a 3-0 victory over the National League Tuesday night in New York. Mariano Rivera, making his final All-Star appearance, was named the game's MVP.
It marks the second consecutive game where the losing team failed to score a run, and the third time in five seasons that nobody hit a home run.
While this year's Midsummer Classic wasn't the high-scoring affair, it had its fair share of memorable moments and big plays on both sides. The following are the 10 greatest moments of the 2013 MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field.
10. Jose Bautista Ends the American League Drought
Since the 2010 season, when he made his All-Star debut, only nine players in baseball have driven in more runs than Toronto's Jose Bautista.
Yet "Joey Bats" had never sent a runner across home plate in the ASG—something that the American League hadn't done since Adrian Gonzalez hit a solo shot off Cliff Lee in the fourth inning of the 2011 edition.
Fast-forward to the fourth inning Tuesday night, and the American League was working on a 17-inning scoreless streak.
Bautista made sure it wouldn't reach 18 innings.
With Baltimore's Chris Davis on first base and Detroit's Miguel Cabrera on third, Bautista lofted a pitch from Patrick Corbin into deep center field, allowing Cabrera to tag up and give his side the 1-0 lead.
9. Matt Harvey Works out of Trouble in the First
After watching Mike Trout hit a leadoff double and hitting Robinson Cano, starter Matt Harvey found himself with runners on first and second, nobody out and the heart of the AL lineup coming to the plate.
In front of his hometown fans, in his home stadium, in the first All-Star Game of his career.
Harvey would strike out Miguel Cabrera, induce Chris Davis to a fly-out and make Jose Bautista whiff to get out of the inning unscathed.
8. Baseball Pays Tribute to the Real Heroes
After both teams' introductions, veterans from all branches of the United States armed forces lined the baselines—from those who have recently served their country to those who fought decades ago to protect the American way of life.
Members from each All-Star squad joined them, with a different player presenting each veteran with an American flag. During the Fox broadcast, we saw an exchange between one solider and mic'd-up Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips, who was given a commemorative coin from the solider's unit.
Phillips was genuinely taken aback and appreciative, staring longingly at the coin before telling his counterpart that he knew exactly where he was going to put it on display in his home.
That's the second unscripted, feel-good moment that a Cincinnati Red has been involved in this season.
7. Manny Machado Robs Paul Goldschmidt
Baltimore's Manny Machado reminded everyone who may have forgotten—or those who were not yet convinced—that he is the best defensive third baseman in baseball. He had a terrific play to nab Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Goldschmidt hit a bouncer up the third-base line that took a high hop, forcing Machado to retreat to the outfield grass and backhand the bouncing ball. The 21-year-old set himself and fired a strike to Detroit's Prince Fielder to beat Goldschmidt by a half step.
6. Rivera Works a Perfect Inning
Three up, three down.
That's pretty much been the norm with Mariano Rivera in the game over the past 19 years, and while he failed to strike out a batter with his signature cutter Tuesday night, Mo was on his game.
Milwaukee's Jean Segura grounded out to second, St. Louis' Allen Craig lined out to left field and Brewer Carlos Gomez grounded out to shortstop. With that performance, Rivera left the All-Star Game without allowing a run in his past nine innings of work.
Baltimore's Chris Davis was caught documenting Rivera's performance from the dugout on his phone, while the fans and players gave Rivera another standing ovation as he slowly made his way off the mound after his flawless work in the eighth.
5. Jason Kipnis' RBI Double
With Kansas City's Salvador Perez on third base and two outs in the top of the eighth inning, Cleveland's Jason Kipnis stepped to the plate to face Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel for the first All-Star at-bat of his career.
Kipnis drove a ball deep to left field that landed over the head of Philadelphia's Domonic Brown to drive in Perez and give the American League a 3-0 lead.
Prior to Kipnis, the last member of the Indians to drive in an ASG run was Victor Martinez in 2007. It had also been more than a decade since an Indians middle infielder picked up an All-Star RBI, going back to Omar Vizquel in 2002.
4. Andrew McCutchen's Stolen Base
If you ever wanted to see a how-to video on stealing a base, Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen provided a clinic in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Inserted as a pinch runner for Carlos Beltran, who was on base with a one-out single, McCutchen took off running on Seattle's Felix Hernandez.
Joe Mauer unleashed a terrific throw that shortstop J.J. Hardy caught on the first-base side of the bag, but McCutchen slid to the outside, with his hands just beating Hardy's tag on his arm.
3. Mariano Rivera's Pregame Speech
As the game drew closer, there were some rumblings that Mariano Rivera should get the honor of starting the contest.
While the decision was made to bring Mo out of the bullpen (the correct decision), Rivera's was the last voice that the American League squad heard in the clubhouse before the game—and hopefully everyone in attendance was paying attention.
He reminded his superstar teammates to play hard, as it is a great honor to participate in such festivities, and told his side how much of a blessing it was for him to have the opportunity to play with all of them.
Boston's David Ortiz, who has spent the better part of a decade battling Rivera and the Yankees for AL East supremacy, told Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal that Rivera "sounded like a guy who just got called up."
It's that unbridled passion and genuine love of the game that Rivera has had throughout his legendary career—that despite appearing in more than 1,000 games, the next game is a new experience and blessing in itself—that baseball will miss most when his playing career is over.
2. Prince Fielder's Triple
With the defensive shift on in the top of the ninth, Prince Fielder lofted a 2-2 offering from Pittsburgh's Jason Grilli to right field. Carlos Gomez made a valiant diving effort, but it left St. Louis' Matt Carpenter to retrieve the ball in right field.
All the while, the hefty Fielder was motoring around the bases, sliding into third base for the triple. After safely reaching base, Fielder let loose a triumphant "Wooo!" with what little energy he had left.
1. The Sandman Enters
Fearing that the National League could mount a comeback and rob him of the opportunity to get Mariano Rivera into the game, manager Jim Leyland called upon the future first-ballot Hall of Famer in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Citi Field erupted, with the fans giving Rivera a well-deserved and lengthy standing ovation.
Nobody was sitting in the dugouts, either, as both teams joined in on the ovation. The American League side took its sweet time taking the field, prolonging the priceless moment and memory for Rivera.
Everyone in attendance showed their admiration and respect for not only the greatest reliever of all time, but one of the most genuine, classy superstars in the game today.
Well done, folks.