Ben Sheets: Making First Start at Yankee Stadium

Adam LindemerSenior Analyst IJuly 15, 2008

Ben Sheets will be the starting pitcher for the National League in the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium Tuesday.

Sheets has never been to Yankee Stadium in his career, as the Brewers play in the NL and the only Brewers vs. Yankees matchup was at Miller Park.

Sheets will turn 30 on July 18, and now has an opportunity to pitch at the historic venue in one of the biggest games of the season.

Of course, he would rather be there in postseason play, but Sheets will soak up this whole experience and have plenty of stories to tell his teammates back in Milwaukee.

Sheets was chosen over guys like Aaron Cook (Rockies), Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano (Cubs), Dan Haren and Brandon Webb (D'Backs), Tim Lincecum (Giants) and Edinson Volquez (Reds).

Zambrano, Haren, Cook and Sheets were the only ones who didn't start over the weekend and would have the freshest arms. Cook was most likely ruled out immediately because Colorado's Clint Hurdle is managing the NL and didn't want to risk injury to one of his own players. Cook also doesn't have the flashiest of stuff either.

As a Brewers fan, I vote against Zambrano just because. Also he doesn't have the mental state to be on such a big stage. So, the choice was really between Sheets and Haren, which either one would have made sense.

Hurdle most likely chose Sheets because in his last start, he fanned 11 Colorado batters at Miller Park to which Hurdle had a front row seat. 

It's also a historic event for the Brewers franchise, as Sheets is the first Brewer, either AL or NL, to ever start an All-Star game. And that's with pitchers such as Teddy Higuera, Jim Colburn and Juan Nieves.

Sheets has never been the healthiest of pitchers, with stints on the DL for the past three years. He never made more than 24 starts in each of those years. Sheets has never gotten over the 12-winmark as a starter either.

With a 10-3 record and a 2.85 ERA, coupled with 108 strikeouts, Sheets will take the mound for the NL squad in hopes of winning for the first time since 1996 at Veterans Stadium. And that doesn't include the debacle that occurred at Sheets' home park in 2002.