2010 MLB All-Star Game: Five Snubs Who Could Have Made A Difference
The All-Star game is in the books, and the National League finally managed to break their 13 year drought, thanks to a big three-run double from Braves catcher Brian McCann to give the NL a 3-1 win.
Despite the fact that the game was dominated by pitching, the game was not without its squandered scoring opportunities.
So here are the five players that were snubbed from the Midsummer Classic, and could have ultimately changed the outcome of the game.
Adam Dunn replaces Corey Hart
With runners at first and third, and one out in the top of the fifth, the NL were threatening to score the game's first run.
However, Corey Hart was unable to even get a ball in the air to score the run, striking out against the Tigers Justin Verlander.
But could things have been different had it been the red hot Adam Dunn and his 22 first half home runs stepping to the plate instead?
Billy Wagner replaces Hong-Chih Kuo
It is hard to argue with the numbers Kuo has put up this season, having not allowed a hit to a left handed batter yet this season in 31 at bats.
However, Kuo seemed overwhelmed by the whole All-Star experience, as his throwing error set up Robinson Cano's sacrifice fly, giving the AL a 1-0 lead and setting Kuo up to be the losing pitcher as of the fifth inning.
Wagner, a six-time All-Star selection, would no doubt have been more comfortable on the national stage.
While he is offically credited with an All-Star selection this season, he turned down a last minute invite after not originally making the team, choosing instead to rest his sore ankle. Who knows if he would have gone had he been originally selected.
Daniel Bard replaces Matt Thornton
In a game that came down to a pitchers duel, Thornton gave up the big blow that ended up deciding things.
While it is hard to argue that he is among the best setup men in all of baseball, with the AL's best strikeout rate, Bard also would have been a legitimate All-Star candidate with a 1.90 ERA in 41 appearances.
Bard is among the hardest throwers in all of baseball, and he may have been better suited to face the NL's righty heavy lineup.
Brennan Boesch replaces Vernon Wells
In the bottom of the seventh inning, a John Buck double and an Ian Kinsler walk gave the AL a pair of runners with only one out.
However, Wells could only muster a weak ground ball up the middle for a fielders choice, setting up runners on first and third with two outs.
The slugging rookie from the Tigers is a front runner for the AL Rookie of the Year this season, with a line of .342 BA, 12 HR, 49 RBI in just 65 games.
He could have used this situation as an opportunity to introduce himself to the nation, as a big hit could have made the final innings much more interesting.
Alex Rios replaces Torii Hunter
Although he was the hometown favorite, Hunter had a dismal game, going 0-for-2 with a strikeout and three runners left on base including a strikeout that followed Wells fielders choice.
Rios is in line for Comeback Player of the Year, with a line of .309 BA, 15 HR, 49 RBI for the suddenly resurgent White Sox, and he was more than deserving of a spot on the team and may have come through where Hunter couldn't.
Still, it would have been hard to exclude Hunter from the roster, as it is always nice to get a handful of hometown players in the game, and Jered Weaver did not get into the game.