The 2008 MLB All-Star Game: The War of Attrition

Derek CoffeltSenior Analyst IJuly 15, 2008

It was supposed to just be an exhibition game that no one was supposed to be interested in. It was widely regarded as a game that had lost its meaning. Try telling that to the 2008 All-Stars because they didn't get the memo.

In a thrilling extra-innings ball game, the American League once again defeated the National League 4-3 on Wednesday morning to claim home field advantage in the World Series.

The game started in typical fashion with both sides having their starter go strong and pitching the arbitrary two scoreless innings. As both managers would find out, it would be a true war of attrition with their pitchers.

This was the last time the Midsummer Classic would be held at Yankee Stadium, and the stadium certainly seemed to not want to let go. With defensive play after defensive play, the innings (and the time) crept along into the early morning hours.

With a game starting at approximately 8:45 p.m. and ending about 1:30 a.m., the game was the longest All-Star game ever recorded, and I stayed up for all of it and I'm glad I did.

With the score tied 3-3, the National League made several game-saving plays at home plate to extend the game. One play included a terrific outfield assist from Pirates outfielder Nate McLouth to throw out Tampa Bay Rays catcher Dioner Navarro at home plate.

The National League desperately tried to find a way to end the American League's streak of wins and give themselves a better chance to win in October. Reminiscent of earlier All-Star games, the players honestly seemed to take the game seriously and neither side wanted to let up.

As much as the defense elevated every player’s game, Florida Marlins second basemen Dan Uggla was one player who wanted this game to end in any way possible. With an astounding three errors in the game coupled with three strikeouts, the young slugger probably could have used a Red Bull energy drink from Kevin Youkilis' locker room.

The game came down to both league's final pitcher. Brad Lidge for the National League and Scott Kazmir for the American League.

Lidge received the loss after Michael Young (the 2006 All-Star MVP) hit a fly ball to right field with the bases loaded. Justin Morneau proceeded to tag from third base and was nearly tagged out by a throw from Corey Hart.

Scott Kazmir was obviously being spared to pitch in the game since he had just had a grueling match up on Sunday. However, this game had both managers pulling out all of the stops as Brandon Webb came into the game after publicly stating he didn't want to pitch.

In an odd twist of fate, the MVP award was given to J.D. Drew who hit a huge two-run blast to tie the game in the seventh inning. Imagine that, in the very last All-Star game at Yankee Stadium a Boston player won the award. Probably not the way the Yankee faithful wanted it to end.

Maybe I'm going out on a limb here but I thoroughly enjoyed the game. Every inning seemed to contain a great defensive double play or outfield assist.

To me, it was a great game.