MLB All-Star Game: Handing out the Grades

James HulkaAnalyst IJuly 16, 2008

It was going to be difficult for the All-Stars to top the performance that went on in the Home Run Derby Monday night, but that's exactly what happened. After watching the 15-inning, 4 hour and 50 minute marathon in which all players got into the game (except for the hospitalized Tim Lincecum), let's review each individual performance, player by player.

National League:

Position Players

Hanley Ramirez: B+     

Had two hits and scored a run for the NL, but also had a throwing error, which did not affect the game.

Miguel Tejada: A      

Had two hits, a walk, scored a run and stole a base. Made a stellar defensive play in the 10th inning with the bases loaded and two outs.

Chase Utley: C+    

Had one hit in three trips to the plate, but was caught looking to strike out in the first inning.

Dan Uggla: F     

Left six runners on. Hit into a double play in the 10th and struck out with 1 out in the 12th both times with the go ahead run on 3rd. Totaled 3 strikeouts and 3 errors.

Lance Berkman: B-   

Didn't do anything special, but did drive in a run with a sac-fly.

Adrian Gonzalez: B      

Put the NL ahead in the 8th on a sac fly, but couldn't do it again in the 12th. Saved an error on a low throw by Martin in the 10th with a nifty scoop that would've scored the winning run.

Albert Pujols: B    

Had two hits, but was thrown out at second by Ichiro.

David Wright: C     

Only hit was a broken bat dunk into short center. Looked overmatched in two strikeouts.

Chipper Jones: C+    

Had first hit of the night for NL, but struck out with two runners on later in the game.

Aramis Ramirez: B-   

Walked in only plate appearance then was removed for pinch runner.

Cristian Guzman: B+    

Couldn't get sac bunt down and was caught stealing. Made some very nice plays at third on defense despite being a shortstop.

Matt Holliday:  A-     

Put the NL on top with opposite field HR in the 5th.

Corey Hart: D    

Didn't do anything with the bat. Missed trying to cut off Morneau's double. Throw in the 15th beat the runner, but was too far up the line.

Ryan Braun: D+    

No hits and two strikeouts in three at-bats

Ryan Ludwick: C+    

Reached base on a walk. Diving catch in 15th was great, but didn't matter in the end.

Kosuke Fukudome: C-    

No defensive mistakes, but no hits and a strikeout in two at-bats.

Nate McLouth: B+    

Beautiful sac bunt turned into a base hit. Perfect throw from center to get Navarro at the plate in the 11th. Just missed putting NL ahead with HR in the 14th.

Geovany Soto: C-    

Did nothing in two at-bats. Both runners who attempted steals were safe.

Russell Martin: B+   

Single started 10th inning potential rally. Sac bunt was successful. Threw out Kinsler trying to steal. Four others were safe (see Wagner). Made some great defensive plays behind the plate including McLouth's throw from center.

Brian McCann: B-    

No plate appearances. Made nice block in the 15th. Made great effort despite off-line throw from right on sac fly in 15th.


Ben Sheets: B+   

Threw a lot of pitches. Gave up one hit, one stolen base, two walks, but had three K's and didn't allow a run.

Carlos Zambrano: A     

Efficient two innings giving up only one hit. Had one strikeout and picked off runner at 1st.

Dan Haren: B     

Gave up a couple of hits and a walk in three innings, but got 2 K's and survived without allowing a run.

Edinson Volquez: C-    

Almost pitched his way out of a jam. Got two strikeouts but gave up Drew's two-run home run with two out. Not a terrible pitch, but a little too much of the plate.

Brian Wilson: A-     

Wasn't pretty, but got both hitters he faced, struckout one.

Billy Wagner: D-   

Came in for Wilson with two outs and bases empty in the eighth and proceeded to give up tying run. Gave up a hit to Sizemore, then failed to pay attention to runner on 1st, giving up an uncontested steal. Pitch to Longoria was out of the zone, but with the runner on second instead of first meant he scored on the ground-rule double. Not the first All-Star game flop for Wagner (Giambi hit a home run against him in 2003).

Ryan Dempster: A   

Struck out the side in order in the 10th despite pitching two days earlier.

Aaron Cook: A+      

Pitched three scoreless innings. Managed to escape 10th inning allowing no runs after 2 errors and IBB loaded the bases with no one out. Got three weak grounders to get out of jam.Got some help on throw from McLouth in the 11th to get the runner out at home.

Carlos Marmol: A       

Only baserunner reached on error. Recorded two strikeouts in his one inning of work.

Brandon Webb: A     

Struck out two in scoreless inning despite pitching on Sunday.

Brad Lidge: C-     

Got the loss, giving up the winning run on sac fly with bases loaded. Morneau's hit was on a bloop off the end of the bat on a good pitch. Walk to Drew hurt chances. More accurate throw might've extended the game.


American League:

Position Players

Ichiro Suzuki: B     

Single and struckout in three at-bats. Made great throw to get Pujols.

JD Drew: A+   

Single, two-run home run and walk earned him the MVP.

Derek Jeter: B   

Had single and stolen base, but hit into DP with Ichiro on first.

Michael Young: B+    

Had a single and game winning sac fly mixed in with two strikeouts. Turned key double play in 10th.

Josh Hamilton: B     

Single and SB in three at-bats.

Carlos Quentin: D    

Only time reaching base in four at-bats was on Uggla error in 10th.

Alex Rodriguez: D+    

No hits and a strikeout in two at-bats.

Joe Crede: C       

Popped out in only game action.

Carlos Guillen: B     

Walked and doubled in four plate appearances.

Manny Ramirez: D+   

Same line as A-Rod

Grady Sizemore: B      

In five at-bats, struck out twice. Singled, stole second, and scored off inattentive Wagner in the 8th.

Milton Bradley: C-    

Walked once in three plate appearances, then was picked off by Zambrano.

Evan Longoria: B       

Hit a tough pitch for double to tie game at three in the 8th. Had winning run at third with less than two outs twice - grounded out and struck out in those chances.

Kevin Youkilis: C-    

Same line as A-Rod and Manny. two at-bats, one strikeout, no hits.

Justin Morneau: A+      

Single, double and walk in five plate appearances. Scored first and last runs of the game for the AL.

Joe Mauer: A      

Single and walk in two plate appearances, but neither resulted in runs.

Ian Kinsler: B-    

One hit in five at-bats. 1-2 in attempted steals. Turned key DP in 10th.

Dustin Pedroia: C+     

Reached once on walk in two plate appearances.

Jason Varitek: C     

Played briefly in field. No at-bats.

Dioner Navarro: C+    

Two strikeouts. Throwing error led to third run for NL. Single in 15th eventually led to winning run. Completed double play by throwing out Guzman at second.



Cliff Lee: A          

three strikeouts and only one hit in 2 innings.

Joe Saunders: B+     

Gave up one hit in only inning pitched.

Roy Halladay: B+     

Same as Saunders. Added one strikeout.

Ervin Santana: C-     

Had two strikeouts, but gave up opposite field HR to Holliday.

Justin Duscherer: D+    

Gave up three hits and run, but escaped further damage.

Joe Nathan: A         

eight-pitch inning included a strikeout.

Jonathan Papelbon: C-    

Run was unearned, but was unable to pick up his defense after throwing error.

Francisco Rodriguez: C     

Faced two hitters, got one out and walked the other, which was left stranded.

Mariano Rivera: C+    

Stranded inherited runner in the ninth. Defense bailed him out in the 10th after giving up hits, and having runners on the corners with 1 out.

Joakim Soria: C-    

Didn't give up any runs, but gave up two hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Strikeout of Uggla was key.

George Sherrill: A    

Gave up one hit in 2+ innings of work. Struck out Gonzalez with the bases loaded. Almost gave up go ahead run (McLouth).

Scott Kazmir: B      

Looked tired in one inning of work. Wasn't sharp, but only surrendered a walk.


Both teams had chances to end it earlier. There was some great pitching and some great defense. But, if you're the fan of a contending team in the NL, you're probably not too happy with Billy Wagner or Dan Uggla right now.


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