American League prevails over National League thanks to Robinson Cano's home run

0:43 | Major League Baseball
AL prevails over NL in 2017 MLB All-Star Game, Robinson Cano wins MVP
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Tuesday July 11th, 2017

11:39 p.m.: American League wins on Robinson Cano's home run

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Joe Buck got it right when he said power pitching won the battle between power pitching and power hitting. Thanks for following along, friends. Check back in with us for full postgame coverage from Jay Jaffe and Tom Verducci.

Emma Span: Thanks for following along, everyone!

Emma Span: All things considered, a fun game, if a little lacking in action at times, and I don't think anyone played with less enthusiasm because home field advantage wasn't on the line.

Emma Span: The players are happy, but the managers, and all the managers and front office personnel watching at home, are no doubt happier that we won't be going 15 innings.

Emma Span: The AL wins! They've now tied the NL with 43 All-Star Game wins each.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: That's it! Andrew Miller strikes out Cody Bellinger, and the AL knocks off the NL, 2–1.

Emma Span: Agree. He's having fun and you can feel it.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Lindor's enthusiasm is simply infectious.

Emma Span: The lack of scoring hasn't all been dull, we've gotten some very pretty defense in this game.

Emma Span: Another nice play there from Francisco Lindor. Wow.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: What a catch by Upton!

Emma Span: Nice save by Upton there on Corey Seager's line drive. both managers should buy him a nice bottle of scotch or something.

Emma Span: No insurance runs approved. Justin Upton singled, but Michael Brantley's DP erases him and I believe it's going to be Miller Time.

Emma Span: If the AL wins tonight, they will be exactly even with the NL over All Star Game history, with 43 wins each.

Emma Span: And if the NL is going to tie it they'll have to get through Andrew Miller.

Emma Span: Solo shot off of Wade Davis, the Cubs' lone All-Star, makes it 2–1.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Oh Robbie. That swing is still so sweet.

Emma Span: Robinson Cano is here to save us all, but especially Rob Manfred. American 2, National 1.

Emma Span: [Bud Selig shrug] let's goooooooooooooo!

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Send help. Or coffee. OK, let's do extras.

10:51 p.m.: To the ninth we go!

Emma Span: If you're the commissioner, when do you call this one? I'd let them go one more inning, I think.

Emma Span: Bunting should never be allowed in the All-Star Game.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Bunt. Do it.

Emma Span: STEAL HOME, YADI!

Emma Span: Yadier Molina tags up and goes to third on Goldschmidt's fly out; he's trying to win this game his own damn self.

Emma Span: Not a lot of hits, however.

Emma Span: Lots of good headline-pun names in this game, at least: Smoak, Judge, Lamb.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Diamondbacks 3B Jake Lamb is now hitting. Spoonerizing names is almost always dumb, but I'll allow Lake Jamb.

Emma Span: This is a little late for the SI jinx to kick in, but he started off with a very uncharacteristic walk, so maybe it's just a delayed reaction.

Emma Span: To close it out here's Craig Kimbrel, who, as Verducci wrote a few weeks ago, is basically too good for baseball.

Emma Span: I was already drinking, Gabriel.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Balk! Drink.

Emma Span: And apparently so is Joe West, who just called a balk on Jansen.

Emma Span: Gotta figure that at this point even Joe Maddon is rooting for the AL to score.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: I'm not averse to it. I understand the romance of the idea that a baseball game could conceivably last for eternity, but that prospect isn't eliminated with the new rules. We won't see it anytime soon in the big leagues, but it's a no-brainer for tonight and the rule would get a great test run.

Emma Span: I hate those WBC extra innings rules in general, but this is one scenario where it actually makes some sense. It's not really baseball, for me. But, for this one game where you have to be so very careful with these players, I could accept it.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Smoltz just mentioned it. There is literally zero downside to this.

Emma Span: What do you think of this suggestion?

 

Emma Span: What light through Yonder Alonso breaks?

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Yonder Alonso stole a base?

Emma Span: Sure, why not? Jansen didn't give up his first walk this season until June 25

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Kenley Jansen is in the game ... and he promptly surrenders a single to Yonder Alonso?​

Emma Span: The Astros' Chris Devenski, who just blew through the NL in the bottom of the 8th, has 74 strikeouts this season in 52.2 IP.​

10:42 p.m.: The bats are still quiet in the eighth

Emma Span: To the ninth! Let's get weird.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: These fans all want Yonder Alonso to pitch.

Emma Span: I'll be disappointed if we get to extra innings without any position players pitching. Granted their team front offices would have heart attacks, but you couldn't beat the entertainment. ... Of course, there's no real bench left for either team at this point.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: The Rockies bullpen is being effectively used in the eighth inning of a competitive nationally televised competition. What a world we have in 2017.

Emma Span: Michael Brantley, another Indians player having a great season who deserves the All-Star spotlight, keeps the inning alive for the AL. But Greg Holland is (as usual, when healthy) dealing.

10:32 p.m.: The seventh inning ends and we're still tied

Emma Span: To be fair, nobody has really hit well tonight except the gold-plated guy behind the plate

Emma Span: Nelson Cruz getting a photo with Joe West remains one of the game's more dramatic moments, for now.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Corey Seager grounds out into an inning-ending double play and we're headed to the eighth. For a 61–29 team, the Dodgers' representatives have been pretty terrible tonight.

Emma Span: Michael Conforto singles to put the tying run on base, and somewhere Bud Selig pumps his fist.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Apparently the PA system played Crazytown's "Butterfly" during the inning break, so the 2002 vibes are everywhere tonight.

Emma Span: If he's not at the game, I'd like to imagine him texting Rob Manfred "I TOLD YOU SO," but there's no way Bud Selig has ever texted in his life. 

Gabriel Baumgaertner: *Bud Selig cups his ear when asking what the score is*

Emma Span: Is Bud Selig here? Because I want to see his face if, as soon as it no longer counts, the All-Star Game *immediately* ends in another tie.

Emma Span:  And with Cano's strikeout, we're tied heading to the bottom of the seventh.

Emma Span: Sanchez grounds out, Avisail Garcia whacks a very hard-hit lineout to Michael Conforto in left, and this is the best things have gone for the Padres all season.

Emma Span: Meanwhile, Cruz explains the selfie by saying that he is "a big fan of Joe West." Hmmmm.

Emma Span: Here's Gary Sanchez, disappointingly non-shiny, to lead off the 7th inning, facing the Padres' lone representative, the excellently named Brad Hand. 

9:56 p.m.: Yadier Molina homers to tie game

Jay Jaffe: Sanchez, Avisail Garcia and Michael Brantley all entered the game at the beginning of this inning.

Emma Span: Seriously, somebody on the AL squad better be spray-painting Gary Sanchez gold.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: EVERYBODY WEAR GOLD!

Emma Span: Yadier Molina lives up to his catching gear with a game-tying homer. American 1, National 1.

Emma Span: Cruz also went through that whole at bat with his phone in his pocket. In-game All-Star selfies are the final frontier

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Maybe Cruz owns some of West's country albums

Emma Span: Cruz took that all the way to the warning track, which is just as well, because if he'd homered every player would have to get a photo with Joe West.

Jay Jaffe: Now there's something you don't see every day.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Nelson Cruz just asked for a photo with Joe West and I think everybody is confused.

Emma Span: The good news is if they don't have a trophy handy, they can just hand Yadier Molina to the MVP of the game.

Jay Jaffe: Whoa! Yadi thought this was a Star Wars costume party and came as C3PO

Emma Span: Oh my goodness, Molina's catching gear.

Jay Jaffe: But wait! There's more! Corey Seager (for Cozart) and Michael Conforto (for Ozuna).

Jay Jaffe: Zack Greinke, Ender Inciarte (for Blackmon), Cody Bellinger (for Harper), Yadier Molina (for Posey), Justin Turner (for Arenado) and Paul Goldschmidt (for ZImmerman).

Emma Span: Zack Cozart is out of the game, but the important thing is he already earned a donkey from Joey Votto.

Jay Jaffe: Third base is just bananas in the NL right now. Turner, Arenado, Anthony Rendon (like Bryant, another Final Vote loser).

Emma Span: Anthony Rizzo in this commercial is reminding me how odd it is not to have more Cubs here. They were the center of the baseball universe so recently and now Kris Bryant couldn't even get on the roster? Not that the 3B who are here don't deserve it—they do. It's just odd.

9:53 p.m.: An update on The Freeze

Emma Span: Here's your The Freeze update.

9:41 p.m.: The seal is broken in the top of the fifth!

Jay Jaffe: Twins reliever Brandon Kintzler, who's probably the most obscure pitcher in tonight's game to this point, hangs another zero by retiring Cozart, Blackmon and Stanton in order on 11 pitches.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Giancarlo Stanton has had a very sad All-Star Game in his home park.

Emma Span: The Marlins' rally cat from a few weeks back.

Jay Jaffe: The next great Rockies pitcher?

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Any guesses as to what is currently living in Charlie Blackmon's beard?

Jay Jaffe: Brian McCann isn't here.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: I wonder who is currently taunting Judge to 'hit the weight room, rookie.'

Emma Span: I sure hope Aaron Judge hits in his first few games back with the Yankees, because otherwise we're going to get endless "the Home Run Derby threw off his swing!" takes

Jay Jaffe: Judge lofts one but unlike last night, he doesn't even reach the warning track​.

Jay Jaffe: After getting two outs with a total of three pitches, Wood serves up a double down the leftfield line to Schoop. Sano dunks a bloop near the rightfield line with Harper and two other fielders converging. It lands safely, and we have the first run of the night​. American 1, National 0.

Jay Jaffe: Here's the Dodgers lefty that everyone's been waiting for, the one with the microscopic ERA... Alex Wood (who totally deserves to be here, but it's a bit of a bummer we don't get to see Kershaw).

Gabriel Baumgaertner: This throw from Mookie Betts remains ridiculous.

9:19 p.m.: The fourth inning begins

Emma Span: Ryan Zimmerman hit into his second double play of the night, and I sort of hope they leave him in so he can go for a third.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Ray Fosse disagrees.

Jay Jaffe: Somebody had no idea who was in the outfield. Either that or it was the worst send in All-Star history.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Hoooo boy what a throw from Betts. Kind of a silly idea by Arenado to run on the more promising young defensive outfielders in the game.

Jay Jaffe: Jason Vargas and the Subs on for the AL. Yonder Alonso at first for Smoak, MIguel Sano at third for Ramirez, Jonathan Schoop at second for Altuve

Emma Span: That Bill Shaikin tweet reinforces something Tom Verducci wrote about a few weeks ago—that lack of in-game action is becoming more and more common. 

Jay Jaffe:

Jay Jaffe: So much Smoak blown over a two-out walk that went nowhere.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Gotta Smoak 'em inside.

Emma Span: Smoak 'em if you got 'em

Jay JaffeI did, just a couple of weeks ago, sort of.

Emma Span: So would you say where there's Smoak, there's fire?

Jay Jaffe: Hmmm, I haven't had time to make as many bad LaHair puns because he disappeared from the scene so quicly. We're going to see smoke versus Smoak. Maybe if we had Kenley Jansen or Jeff Samardzija bringing hair against LaHair ... and after back-to-back strikeouts of Springer and Correa, Martinez issues a four-pitch walk to Smoak, because whatever.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Jay's favorite All-Star Justin Smoak will bat this inning. Jay, would you rather have Justin Smoak or 2012 All-Star Bryan LaHair?

9:01 p.m.: Still scoreless after three

Jay Jaffe: That... looks like a crime scene​.

Emma Span: To say the least...

Emma Span: Nice escape for Betances, though it looks like he hasn't figured things out quite yet.

Emma Span: Given his recent struggles it's a little surprising they went to Betances. He's been All Star caliber in general... but definitely not the last few weeks.

Jay Jaffe: Zack Cozart smoked a ball off Betances, which seems all too familiar. He and the rest of the Yankees bullpen have taken turns scuffling for the past few weeks. Nice recovery to strike out both Blackmon and Stanton, but then a wild pitch and a walk to Harper. ... aaaand then another wild pitch. What a mess.

Emma Span: The ghost of Earl Weaver.

Jay Jaffe: Ichiro

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Who do you wish could get micd up? Jonathan Papelbon? Tommy Lasorda?​

Emma Span: The in-game interview with Springer while he was positioning himself on defense is actually kind of fun, and it's the kind of thing you couldn't really have done while the game was determining home field and everyone was trying to take it seriously.

Jay Jaffe: Speaking of comically oversized Yankees, here's Dellin Betances, who's actually an inch taller than Judge.

Jay Jaffe: He's yesterday's news!​

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Aaron Judge lacks the clutch gene. MY COLUMN.​

Emma Span: Aaron Judge isn't allowed to make outs. What is this nonsense.

Jay Jaffe: And then a routine grounder to retire Judge. Again, Martinez hit triple digits a couple of times in that matchup.​

Emma Span: Ramirez is having a ludicrously good year, and he's one of those guys who the All-Star Game really needs to showcase—being in Cleveland, he doesn't always get the attention he should.​

Jay Jaffe: Meanwhile, it's quickly a two-hit night for Jose Ramirez, who has improved so dramatically over the last two seasons. 69 OPS+ and 6 homers in 2015, 113 OPS+ and 11 homers last year, 150 and 17 homers this year.

Jay Jaffe: After a scoreless second inning, here's Carlos Martinez, who is really the only top-tier starter besides Sherzer and Clayton Kershaw who has been excellent both last year and this year. Martinez makes short work of Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve via a grounder and a strikeout, respectively, grazing 100 MPH against each.

8:59 p.m.: The Freeze lost!

Gabriel Baumgaertner: So that means The Freeze is not the face of baseball.

Emma Span: Oh dear, The Freeze lost.

8:51 p.m.: Sale returns for the bottom of the second

Emma Span: I thought that at some point, I would get tired of seeing Aaron Judge standing next to smaller people, but... nope. Not yet.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Our social media team is on it with the GIFs.

Jay Jaffe: That single is followed by a Nolan Arenado single, and then a 4-6-3 double play—featuring the Astros' pair of Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa—off the bat of Ryan Zimmerman.

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Daniel Murphy singles off of Chris Sale, which means Chris Sale must be traded to the Mets now.

8:42 p.m.: The second inning begins

Jay Jaffe: Harper's hair is the best here, but I had no idea what Miguel Sano had under his hat until the Derby last night.​

Gabriel Baumgaertner: [BryceHarperManeFlip.GIF]

Emma Span: Harper easily has the best hair in the All Star Game. It's not close. I don't know why they're not using that to determine home field advantage now.

Jay Jaffe: It's a scoreless inning for Neshek marred only by a Justin Smoak single, and if you ever thought anything could be weirder than A-Rod wandering around the infield in a suit, it's Smoak in an All-Star Game given his seven or eight years of mediocrity prior to this season. I'm still not buying it.

Emma Span: Strange, but I'm glad to see him in. It's pretty hard to not root for Neshek. 

Jay Jaffe: Interesting tack by NL manager Joe Maddon to go to Pat Neshek. Apparently, Madden's going to alternate starters and relievers to give the starters longer to warm u, which makes sense but it's strange to see Neshek at this early hour.

Emma Span: He's baaaaack!

Jay Jaffe: A-Rod in a suit, doing between-innings on-field interviews of players he was competing against last year, is just weeeeeeeird.

Emma Span: Based on the starters, at least, players aren't putting any less effort into the game now that it doesn't "count" for home field advantage. On the one hand, that's good, but on the other I wouldn't mind seeing guys get goofy and have some fun with it now that it's just an exhibition game. Scherzer and Sale don't really do "goofy," though.

8:40 The Freeze!

Emma Span: Looks like The Freeze will make his national debut tonight. He was a stroke of promotional genius by the Braves this year.​

8:39 p.m.: Chris Sale takes his turn

Jay Jaffe: Whoa!

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Bryce Harper summoned whatever strength he had from his Miami Vice-era suit he wore pregame to get a base hit off of Chris Sale.

Jay Jaffe: Giancarlo Stanton put on such a great show last night but didn't get out of the first round. I hope he does something big tonight, but it's not going to be there, as he struck out on 98

Jay Jaffe: Chris Sale is the first pitcher to start back-to-back All-Star Games while representing different teams. And that's a werewolf — no, wait, it's Charlie Blackmon — batting leadoff and flying out to rightfield.

8:30 p.m.: Max Scherzer completes a fun first inning

Gabriel Baumgaertner: Scherzer sounds like he's trying to close out the seventh game of the World Series. And he strikes out Judge and Springer back-to-back to end the first inning. It's fun to watch a competitor as fierce as Scherzer bring all his energy to three at-bats.​

Jay Jaffe: His full name is Max Effort Scherzer.

8:27 p.m.: Aaron Judge arrives ... and strikes out

Jay Jaffe: After a comebacker by Jose Altuve, Scherzer gives up a single to Jose Ramirez to bring up Aaron Judge, whose larger than life stature got even larger after last night's Home Run Derby win. Acting manager Brad Mills batted him third because he wanted to make sure Judge got to the plate in the first inning​. Judge put together a nice at-bat, but Scherzer whiffed him on a 3-2 slider on the outer edge​

8:18 p.m.: An inspiring first pitch

Jay Jaffe: Very cool first-pitch festivities honoring the Latin American members of the Hall of Fame, in their order of election. The Roberto Clemente family, Juan Marichal, Luis Aparicio (in absentia, skipping the game in support of Venezuelan protesters), Rod Carew (who had a heart and kidney transplant earlier this year), Orlando Cepeda, Tony Perez, Roberto Alomar, Pedro Martinez, and Ivan Rodriguez.

They threw to Sal Perez, Robinson Cano, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, Yonder Alonso, Marcell Ozuna and Yadier Molina. That was an inspired choice to start the game.

8:12 Awaiting the start

Jay Jaffe:  Max Scherzer is the fifth pitcher to start an All-Star Game for both leagues. He did so for the AL at Citi Field in 2013, the first year of the AL's current four-game winning streak. Starting for both leagues is a fairly recent phenomenon, in that it didn't happen for the first time until 1978 (Vida Blue, after AL starts in 1971 and '75) and for the second until 2001 (Randy Johnson, after AL starts in 1996 and '97). Since then Roger Clemens and Roy Halladay have done it as well.

The big question on everybody's mind—in my household at least—is whether the Dinger Machine is going to go off only if the NL (which is the home team) homers. I'm of the opinion that Commissioner Manfred should decree it goes off after every fly ball for either team. This is the only time most of the country is going to watch a game at Marlins Park (they're not going to the playoffs anytime soon), and that thing is going to have rusted out by the time the All-Star Game comes back here in 30 years, assuming the new owners haven't bilked Miami taxpayers out of yet another ballpark by then. But I digress...

8:10: Let's play ball!

It's the 2017 All-Star Game! Join along with SI.com analysts Jay Jaffe, Gabriel Baumgaertner and Ted Keith as the National League tries to break its four-game losing streak on Tuesday night in Miami. After Aaron Judge's stunning performance in last night's Home Run Derby, the game promises to deliver even more fireworks. The American League will start Red Sox ace Chris Sale while the National League will trout out Nationals ace Max Scherzer. The Marlins honored late starting pitcher Jose Fernandez and Latin-born Hall of Fame members in a moving opening ceremony.

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