- It wasn't as thrilling as Monday's Home Run Derby, but the 2019 All-Star Game did exactly what it was supposed to do—showcase the best of baseball.
SI baseball writers Emma Baccellieri and Matt Martell provided live updates and commentary throughout the 2019 All-Star Game. Relive the Midsummer Classic in our live blog below.
Parting Thoughts as the American League wins its seventh All-Star Game in a row, 4-3.
Emma: This one felt like something of a letdown after last night's dramatics... but there was a pretty high bar there. In all, I think this had all the qualities of a perfectly pleasant All-Star Game: moved at a good clip, had some fun mic'd up moments in the broadcast, and gave Cleveland a home-team MVP in Shane Bieber (with a great story, too, as a last-minute roster addition). For one minor parting gripe, though? John Means! It feels very 2019 Orioles that their one representative didn't get to see the field, but... it would have been fun to get that, if not on-brand for the franchise right now, and there was a natural moment for it, too, in the eighth inning. Other than that, I've got no complaints.
Matt: A 2-hour, 48-minute All-Star Game with only *checks notes* two home runs? That just seems unheard of with the way baseball is played in 2019. But that's almost better for baseball, considering the true purpose of the All-Star Game is to market its stars to kids. Keeping the game under three hours is a great way to get kids interested in baseball. The game didn't end too late for them. MLB did a great job highlighting all these players' personalities with so many guys getting mic'd up. It wasn't as thrilling as last night's HR Derby, but that's OK. The ASG did exactly what it was supposed to for baseball.
Top 9 — 11:04 p.m.
Aroldis Chapman is in the game to close it out for the AL.
Matt: Chapman adding a slider is just lethal.
After back-to-back strikeouts, CC Sabathia walks out to the mound to visit Chapman.
Emma: CC WITH THE MOUND VISIT!
Matt: Are the fans not understanding that this is meant to give CC a huge ovation.
Emma: Yeah I am confused by that too. Because..... obviously?? And yet!
Matt: They gave him a decent ovation, but I figured it'd be louder considering Sabathia started his career in Cleveland. Oh well.
Aroldis Chapman strikes out the side to end it. AL wins 4-3.
Emma: Man, what an inning by Chapman to close that out!
Bottom 8 — 10:55 p.m.
Matt: Imagine the Cubs infield with Javy Baez at SS and Gleyber at 2B
Emma: That Chapman-Torres trade really is a wild one to "what if?"
Matt: The Cubs don't win in 2016 without Chapman, but it's just so interesting that both Torres and Chapman are now All-Stars together for the Yankees.
Top 8 — 10:49 p.m.
Brewers catcher Yasmani Grandal leads off the eighth with a walk.
Matt: You think Yasmani Grandal leaves Milwaukee this offseason?
Emma: You know, I'm really interested to see what kind of deal he signs next year. He didn't come across at all as a guy who should have been looking for a pillow contract, but given the state of the market, that's exactly what he went for, and I'm curious to see how that might change (or not!) this winter.
Matt: I wonder if he signs a multi-year deal with the Brewers. He seems to like it there with Yelich and Moustakas.
Emma: Lemme see John Means get in this game!! He's been such a sorely needed bright spot this year for the Orioles, and he can be so fun to watch—that changeup, man!
Pete Alonso shoots a two-run single to centerfield to bring the National League within a run in the eighth inning. The AL leads 4-3. Brewers third baseman Mike Moustakas pops out with runners on first and second to end the inning.
Bottom 7 — 10:26 p.m.
Brewers Brandon Woodruff takes over on the mound for the NL.
Matt: Brandon Woodruff is the only redeeming quality for the Brewers rotation. But after allowing a leadoff walk and then a single to James McCann, maybe he's the least redeeming quality for the NL All-Star team right now.
Matt: Also, James McCann deserves some love for his season with the White Sox. He's slashing .316/.371/.502 with a 131 OPS+.
Emma: His transformation at the plate this year has been something—not just hitting well for a catcher, hitting well, period.
Matt: The White Sox really are a year away. Eloy Jimenez is starting to rake, and Yoan Moncada is becoming a complete player.
Emma: Dylan Cease finally up, too.
Joey Gallo demolishes a two-run homer off Giants lefthanded closer Will Smith, who relieved Woodruff. AL leads 4-1.
Emma: Gallo didn't get in the HR Derby, but he's showing off his best, anyway.
Bottom 6 — 10:02 p.m.
Pete Alonso is now playing first base for the NL and was mic'd up when he made an incredible diving play to catch a throw from Max Muncy at first base for the out.
Matt: I said it last night, but Pete Alonso is the player the Mets need right now for their franchise. He's fun and knows how to handle the spotlight, an especially admirable quality for a rookie in New York.
Top 6 — 9:58 p.m.
There was a moment of silence between the fifth and sixth inning for Stand Up to Cancer. Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco was recently diagnosed with leukemia and was down on the field with his teammates.
Emma: Really great to see Carrasco down on the field for this.
Matt: It's beautiful.
Athletics reliever Liam Hendriks is now pitching for the American League. Shortstop Francisco Lindor is mic'd up.
Matt: Lindor is a treasure.
Emma: Truly, what a precious angel.
Emma: Also, with Hendriks in, this is pretty cool!
Matt: Joe Buck just asked Lindor who has better hands, him or Javier Baez.
Emma: Lindor bringing up Javy's tag -- that might be my favorite part of his defense, his hands are truly insane there!
Charlie Blackmon hammers a solo homer to centerfield for the NL's first run. AL leads, 2-1.
Bottom 5 — 9:42 p.m.
Walker Buehler is now pitching for the NL, facing Gary Sanchez.
Matt: I want Gary Sanchez to go yard just so I can put a Kraken gif into this blog.
Sanchez rips a 110.2-mph double into the leftfield corner to lead off the fifth.
Emma: Close enough!
Matt: Gary's defense really has gotten so much better after all the flack he took last year
Emma: Yeah, that's been a really remarkable transformation
Matt: He wasn't good last year at blocking, but I think a lot of that had to do with his string of injuries that limited his mobility behind the plate. He's always been good at framing and throwing. Now that he's blocking, he's become an all-around elite catcher.
Emma: On track to cut his passed balls by almost half!
Matt: Also, look at that textbook small ball scoring—Leadoff double, get him over, get him in.
AL leads 2-0 after Jorge Polanco's RBI groundout scores Sanchez.
Top 5th — 9:31 p.m.
Indians righthander Shane Bieber strikes out the side in front of his hometown crowd.
Emma: Yay for some shine on Ketel Marte! He's always been one of those guys who has seemed like he would just be _so_ fun if he could put it all together and stay healthy for a full year, and it's been great to see him finally get that now. But, at the same time, very sweet to see Bieber get that K in front of the home crowd
Matt: Marte's not a small dude. You'd think he'd be someone who'd develop power based on his size. Just not this much power this quickly.
Also, Bieber is going to be Cleveland's ace next year. And if they trade Bauer before the deadline, then it'll be Bieber this year.
Emma: Which, speaking of -- little wild to me that those rumors are still so persistent, given that Cleveland's only juuust hanging on to a wild-card spot and would certainly not seem to be in a position to sell otherwise! (Who knows when exactly Kluber will be back, and how he'll look when he does?)
With another great K there from Bieber to round this out, so, you know, all relative.
Matt: I love trade season.
Top 4th — 9:12 p.m.
White Sox righthander Lucas Giolito is now pitching. His emergence this season has been refreshing after the rough start to his career.
Emma: It's so great to see Lucas Giolito here. After last year, I really didn't think we were ever going to see him live up to what everyone thought he could be as a prospect... but he's done it, and then some!
Matt: He's completely changed his release. He's gone much more short-arm, almost like a catcher's quick release from the ear, and it gives hitters much less time to see the arm and ball before he releases it.
Emma: Also, not enough people talk about the fact that his middle name is Frost, which is his mom's maiden name, but it's also cool as hell!
Matt: Love how I'm analyzing mechanics and you're analyzing his middle name.
Emma: Broad appeal, baby!!!!
Top 3rd — 8:59 p.m.
Alex Bregman, Michael Brantley and George Springer are all mic'd up in the field right now with the FOX broadcasters.
Emma: Alex Bregman's laugh is delightful
Matt: What has gotten into Ketel Marte all year?
Emma: Yeah, that was one of those where you look at a leaderboard in the middle of June and are just deeply taken aback.
Matt: "My legs are a little tight from the National Anthem." Did Bregman just say that??
Emma: He absolutely did.
Matt: I really love that he's made it his mission to grow baseball's fanbase.
Emma: Such a good personality for it.
Javier Baez flies out to shallow leftfield to end the third. Ketel Marte is stranded after a leadoff double.
Emma: Also, since that was prob the last we see of Berrios -- looooove that curve, one of my favorites
Matt: I agree. He's such an underrated pitcher who's only getting better
Bottom 2nd — 8:50 p.m.
Matt: I love the Yeli-Belli bromance.
Emma: Their voices are disconcertingly similar!!
Matt: That was smoked by Brantley.Love to see him do that in Cleveland.
Brantley rips a two-out double into the leftcenterfield gap, scoring Alex Bregman from first. The American League leads, 1-0.
Top 2nd — 8:40 p.m.
Emma: Oooooh, Ken Rosenthal asking about the serious stuff!
Matt: And Verlander handled it well.
Emma: Yes, I definitely thought so, too.
Matt: Verlander really is a pro with PR.
Emma: He's right! It's an integrity-of-game issue for all of the stakeholders here, and it seems a little wild that it hasn't been comprehensively addressed!
Matt: It will be at some point, right? Just because there is so little trust between MLB and the MLBPA. Oh and Josh Bell easily beat out that grounder.
Emma: 1) Yes, but 2) c'mon, do we.... need replay review.... *in the All-Star Game*?
Matt: I mean, home-field advantage is no longer on the line.
Emma: Right, there is no reason to go with even the pretense of this mattering—it's fun! just have fun!
Matt: LET THE KIDS PLAY
Willson Contreras grounds out to Masahiro Tanaka to end the inning.
Matt: Watching Javy play defense is such a treat. It was one of my favorite things of covering the Cubs last season.
Emma: It's the sort of thing where I try to avoid bad magic / El Mago wordplay in describing it, but really, what else can you say??
Matt: Smooth? Magic really is the best way to describe him because so much of his game *shouldn't* work by does.
Carlos Santana grounds out to Baez at shortstop to end the inning, stranding George Springer at third.
Matt: Freddie Freeman just asked Joe Buck to tell him Gary Sanchez's signs! This is hilarious!
Emma: I looooooove them mic'd up, it's great!
Emma: Though I will say it's kinda disorienting to.... just hear them yakking while watching them.
Matt: Freddie Freeman really should be more of a star than he is. Even though he was more concentrated on talking that swinging at Verlander's hook.
Emma: If only for his extremely good and chill cat.
Player Introductions and Pregame — 8:14 p.m.
Emma: I've always liked the Derby much more than the All-Star Game, truthfully, but one thing I *do* love is the pre-game parade and accompanying red carpet—which would be fun in any context, but especially so in a game that gives such limited glimpses of player's personalities. Francisco Lindor's bold print-mixing? Charlie Blackmon's patriotic cowboy vibe? Josh Bell's killer shoes? Pete Alonso's.... whatever's going on here? It was all so fun, and hopefully we'll be able to see this kind of spirit and pizzazz on the field tonight, too.
Matt: These all-star guitar riffs during the intro are both cool and a little weird. And seeing Tommy La Stella on crutches is so disheartening.
Emma: Impressed at the lustiness of the boos for Chapman and Baez. 2016 memories die hard!
Emma: Also, I love that the NL is all in their road grays but Arizona's "gray" is SO extreme with their wacky uniforms that it really stands out!
Matt: I didn't know I needed Gary Sanchez winking in my life but now that it's here... how did I ever live without it???
Emma: Dang, MLB finally has something serious to show for everyone asking them to market Mike Trout!
Matt: DJ El Mago is my favorite
Emma: If there's not an extended joke here for DJ LeMahieu, what are they even doing?
Matt: Really, all I want is for Manny Piña to show up and start singing Hotel California again.