The National League used the strength of two big innings, one in the first and one in the fourth, to seal their third straight mid-summer classic victory in a row. Obviously, the win has once again given home field advantage for the National League representative in the World Series this October. With the Mets in the race for the playoffs as we inch closer to the trade deadline, it was great to see the NL grab that advantage, but as if we hadn’t seen enough of the Giants over these last two weeks leading up to the game, they made a clear statement last night in Kansas City.
Matt Cain pitched two shutout innings in his All-Star start, giving up one hit and striking out one en route to earning the win. However, his teammates helped secure that victory for him; first, with a 1-0 lead already, Pablo Sandoval was facing Justin Verlander with the bases loaded. He ripped a bases clearing triple to right field, breaking the game wide open nice and early for the NL. Melky Cabreraearned All-Star game MVP honors with two hits, including a two-run homer in the fourth inning, capping the scoring for the National League.
As for the Mets’ representatives in Kansas City, both David Wright and R.A. Dickey made appearances in this year’s game. Wright was quiet in his sixth All-Star game, going 0-for-2 with a strike out, while leaving a man on base. He split time with Sandoval, with each of them getting two at-bats each. NL Manager Tony LaRussa decided to keep Wright at third for the remainder of the game, and used his other third baseman, David Freese, at first base for a couple innings instead.
Despite being disappointed about not starting the game last night, there is no doubt that just being at the All-Star game was a huge thrill for R.A. Dickey. LaRussa said that the 37-year-old knuckleballer will be coming into the game when Carlos Ruiz replaces Buster Posey behind the plate. Using Josh Thole‘s special mitt, Dickey and Ruiz seemed to work well together, with no major issues in his one inning of work, which came in the sixth inning. The New York starter did give up a hit and also hit a batter in the process, but threw 11 of his 15 pitches for strikes, accumulating one strikeout and getting Miguel Cabrera to ground into a double play to end the inning.
Although it seemed bogus that LaRussa chose Cain to start over Dickey last night, it was awesome to watch the knuckleballer on the mound on one of the biggest stages in Major League Baseball. The Mets have plenty of quality men to act as ambassadors for the franchise, but there are truly no two men better than both Dickey and David Wright. They represented the Amazins well both on and off the field while they were in Kansas City, which is what they do on a daily basis. Now, we must wait two whole days without baseball in the dead of summer, which definitely feels like an eternity. However, pass the time and tune into the David Letterman Show tonight, as he will be having R.A. Dickey on as one of his guests.