2011 MLB All-Star Game: 12 Most Dominant Pitching Performances in ASG History
Generally, the Mid Summer Classic is about offense, the long ball and scoring runs. However, every once in awhile, a pitcher shows his dominance and shuts down the best hitters from the other league.
Great pitching performances have become harder to come by the past 15 to 20 years, as managers now try to get every pitcher into the game, and appearances have been shortened to two or less innings. With that said, these are the top 12 pitching performance in All-Star Game history.
12. Cliff Lee (2008)
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This was Cliff Lee's first appearance in an All-Star game, and it came as a member of the Cleveland Indians. Lee was named the starter for this game and did not disappoint, as he went two innings, giving up one hit and striking out three.
The impressive part was that he only threw 20 pitches, averaged less than three pitches per batter and 16 of his pitches went for strikes.
11. Randy Johnson (1995)
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The 1995 All-Star game was the Big Unit's fourth All-Star game nomination but first time he was named the starter for the American League. Like Lee, he only went two innings but didn't give up a single hit while striking out three.
He did give up one walk, but that was erased by a double play ball, and Randy Johnson faced the minimum six batters.
10. Fernando Valenzula (1986)
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This year was Fernando Valenzuela's sixth consecutive appearance in the All-Star game and was his best performance in the game to date.
He didn't start, but came in for starter Dwight Gooden, who had already given up two runs. He shut down the AL over three innings, giving up only one hit and striking out five.
9. Tom Seaver (1968)
Tom Seaver was an All-Star each season for the first seven years of his career. His best performance came in 1968, which was his second season in the majors.
He came in to start the seventh inning and pitched two innings, giving up only two hits and striking out five. He, along with the likes of Don Drysdale, Juan Marichal, Steve Carlton, Ron Reed and Jerry Koosman, held the American League to only three hits and no runs in a 1-0 victory.
8. Larry Jansen (1950)
Larry Jansen was a two time All-Star for the New York Giants when he played from 1947 to 1954. He went to the All-Star Game in 1950 and helped the National League to a 4-3 win in a 14-inning game.
That game, he pitched five innings of one hit ball while striking out six and gave up no walks.
7. and 6. Juan Marichal (1965 and 1966)
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Juan Marichal is the only pitcher to make it twice on this list, and his two best performances came in back to back years.
In 1965, he was the first pitcher to be named MVP at the All-Star Game. He started the game and pitched three shutout innings, giving up only one run. He didn't get the win that game, as the National League blew a 5-0 lead, but they did end up winning 6-5.
The next year in 1966, he didn't disappoint, as he went three innings again, giving up only three hits, no runs and striking out two. Against the best hitters the American League had, Marichal threw six innings and didn't give up a single run over two years.
5. LaMarr Hoyt (1985)
LaMarr Hoyt made only one All-Star Game, but didn't waste his opportunity, as he ended up taking home MVP honors. He was named the National League starter and went three innings, giving up one unearned run.
That ended up being the only run for the American League, as the National League went on to win that game 6-1, with Hoyt being credited with the win.
4. John Matlack (1975)
John Matlack appeared in the 1975 All-Star Game, got the win for the National League and went home as co-MVP with Bill Madlock. He threw two innings of shutout baseball, giving up only two hits and striking out four.
3. Don Sutton (1977)
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Don Sutton won the MVP in the 1977 All-Star Game. He was the National League starter and threw three innings of shutout ball, giving up one hit and one walk while striking out four.
He ended up being the winner pitcher, thanks to the National League giving him a 5-0 lead before he left after the third. The National League ended up holding on for a 7-5 win.
2. Roger Clemens (1986)
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Fernando Valenzuela would have probably went home with MVP honors if it wasn't for Roger Clemens pitching for the American League side in this game.
Roger threw three innings of no-hit baseball, faced the minimum number of hitters and struck out two on the way to the win as well as MVP that year.
1. Pedro Martinez (1999)
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Pedro Martinez gets the award for having the most dominant pitching performance in the history of the All-Star Game. He was the starter for the American League and threw two innings of no hit baseball.
The reason he gets the number one spot on this list is because of what he did in those two innings. He struck out the side in the first innings. Then in the second, he struck out Mark McGuire, followed by third baseman Matt Williams reaching base on an error.
This didn't faze Pedro, as he struck out Jeff Bagwell, and on the third strike, Williams was caught stealing for a double play to end the inning. Pedro ended up being credited with the win and is the last pitcher to be named MVP.