Philadelphia Phillies All-Star Game Recap

Kevin McGuireSenior Analyst IJuly 15, 2009

ST LOUIS, MO - JULY 14:  National League All-Star Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies is tagged out after striking out by American League All-Star Victor Martinez of the Cleveland Indians during the 2009 MLB All-Star Game at Busch Stadium on July 14, 2009 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

It was supposed to be a homecoming he would never forget. He may never forget it, but it will now be for some of the wrong reasons.

Ryan Howard, the St. Louis native, struck out in his pinch hitting appearance in the eighth inning with the game's tying and potential winning run in scoring position. Mighty Howard got fooled on a bad pitch and struck out.

The American League, which has not lost an all star game in 13 years (their last loss came in 1996 at Veterans Stadium), pulled out a tight 4-3 win over the National League.

The rest of the Phillies did not fare too much better, but this should have been no surprise for Phillies fans as the defending world champions have struggled against the American League all season unless they wear New York pinstripes.

Chase Utley went 0-for-2 but had some nice plays in the field. Raul Ibanez, making his first all star appearance in his long career, also went 0-for-2. Reserve player Jayson Werth struck out in his only at bat but made the second best catch of the night to end a threat from the American League.

Shane Victorino had the best night for the Phillies representatives, knocking a two-out hit in the bottom of the second inning and scoring on an error at third base on a base hit by St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. Victorino's run tied the game at two and the National League went on to score one more run in the inning.

Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay got the start for the American League. Halladay, who is the hot topic in Phillies trade rumors right now, pitched two innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits.

For Charlie Manuel, he became the first Phillies manager to lose an all star game.

Now it is time to get back to the games that really do count.