American League Triumphs in 85th MLB All Star Game
Minneapolis, Minn.- The American League defeated the National League 5-3 in the 85th MLB All Star Game on Tuesday in Minnesota. However, Derek Jeter, playing in his 14th and final Midsummer Classic, was the real headline of the event as was expected. The expectations didn't necessarily include a 2 for 2 performance at the plate with a near incredible play up the middle though. But on a cool night in the Twin Cities that's exactly what the Yankees captain delivered.
From the introductions prior to the game, it was clear that the fans were rooting for Jeter to have a banner performance in his final All Star Game. After playing the field in the top of the first inning and making a diving stop, Jeter was announced as the lead-off batter for the American League by now deceased Yankee public address announcer Bob Sheppard. At this moment in time, National League starting pitcher Adam Wainwright dropped his glove and stepped back behind the mound. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy and home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom also cleared the plate area. The stage was given to Jeter, who as one would expect wanted to just get in the batter's box. After a minute or two of a standing ovation, he stepped into the box and didn't disappoint. The Yankee shortstop smashed a double down the right field line, and later scored on a Mike Trout RBI triple.
In his second at bat in the third inning, Jeter's patented inside-out swing pushed a hit into short right field. He did not advance any further on the bases, but his All Star Game career was cemented. After taking the field for the fourth inning, Jeter was pulled from the game. He exchanged a hug with his replacement, Alexei Ramirez, before stopping just in front of the first base dugout to acknowledge the fans and his fellow all stars. Jeter continued the hugs in the dugout before coming out for one final curtain call before the fourth inning even began. All in all, Derek Jeter was a career 13 for 27 (.481) hitter in his 14 All Star games.
After such a great moment, there was still a lot of game to be played. At this point, the American League sluggers led the National League's best 3-2. Miguel Cabrera made it 3-0 in the first inning for the American League by blasting a two run home run to left field, scoring Trout from third. The National League got two back in the top of the second on consecutive RBI doubles from Chase Utley and Jonathan Lucroy respectively. Following Jeter's departure, the National League immediately tied the ballgame. Lucroy drove in Utley with an RBI double for the second time in the game.
In the bottom of the fifth against Cardinal pitcher and Minnesota native Pat Neshek the American League regained the lead. Derek Norris and Ramirez ripped consecutive singles before Trout drove in another run with a double. Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros helped the fifth run cross the plate with a sacrifice fly to left field. With the lead, the American League's best pitchers did not allow the National League any chance at getting back in the game. In fact, they did not allow a hit in the final four innings of the game.
Glen Perkins of the Minnesota Twins closed out the game in electrifying fashion for the American League in front of his home crowd, throwing only nine pitches. Mike Trout was named the Most Valuable Player of the game for going 2 for 3 with a double, triple, and two RBIs.
New York's other two all stars were non factors in the game. Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy entered the game in the seventh inning to play second and struck out in his only at bat in the top of the eighth with two men on and two out. Yankees reliever Dellin Betances did not appear out of the bullpen for the American League even though American League Manager John Farrell used 11 of his 13 pitchers.
With the American League winning the 85th All Star Game, we might just see the American League pennant winner crowned World Champions in October. The last five All Star Game winners have had their pennant winner win the World Series. Will it be six? The second half of the baseball season awaits beginning Friday. All of Major League Baseball's 30 teams have Wednesday and Thursday off.
Below are interviews with Derek Jeter, Mike Trout, Glen Perkins, John Farrell, Mike Matheny, Dillon Betances, and Daniel Murphy. Please press play on the appropriate interview to listen.