MLB All-Star Game 2011: Michael Pineda Shines While Brandon League Struggles

Sean LarsonContributor IIIJuly 13, 2011

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 12:  American League All-Star Michael Pineda #36 of the Seattle Mariners throws a pitch in third inning of the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Michael Pineda of the Seattle Mariners has been taking the league by storm this season, and Tuesday night at the 2011 All-Star Game in Arizona was no different.

Pineda entered a scoreless game in the bottom of the third as Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki stepped in. He would quickly fly out to center field. One down.

Next up was Scott Rolen. Pineda struck out Rolen on a nasty breaking pitch. Two down.

Rickie Weeks fared no better. Pineda delivered another nasty pitch, and Weeks went down with a swing that wasn't even close.

Pineda threw 10 pitches in his All-Star appearance, and eight of them were strikes.

In a game where most pitchers' performances are usually based on three quick outs, Michael Pineda turned in a dominating inning, showcasing why he is one of the best young talents in baseball.

Unfortunately, Brandon League could not deliver a similar performance. League was called into the game in the seventh inning with the American League already trailing 4-1.

League started the inning by giving up a leadoff hit to Hunter Pence, but temporarily regained his composure by striking out Starlin Castro.

After a passed ball, Pence advanced all the way to third base. Then, League experienced the power of the Panda.

Pablo Sandoval stepped in, and delivered an RBI ground-rule double. League would go on to retire the last two batters of the inning, but Sandoval's double drove in the final run of the game, and the American League had no answer, losing 5-1.

Tonight, the entire nation was able to see our hidden gem in the Pacific Northwest in Michael Pineda. Slowly but surely, and especially after his performance tonight, fans across the league are learning one thing: Michael Pineda is well on his way to becoming one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball.

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