All-Star Game Recap: American League Beats National League 6-3; Trout Wins MVP


Three New York Yankees were selected to represent the American League in the 2015 All-Star Game.  Your 2015 All-Stars were Dellin Betances, Brett Gardner, and Mark Teixeira.  With the Yankees leading the American League East, home-field advantage in the World Series could prove important.

Continuing his MVP performance from 2014, American League center fielder Mike Trout hit an opposite field home run to start the game.  The home run was the sixth leadoff home run in All-Star Game history, and the first since Bo Jackson in 1989.  In the first at-bat of Trout’s four All-Star Game appearances, he has went 4-for-4 while hitting for the cycle.

Following the leadoff home run to Trout and a walk to Josh Donaldson, National League starter Zack Greinke settled down, retiring the last six batters he faced, four via the strikeout.  Greinke became the first pitcher to strike out four batters in All-Star game since Pedro Martinez struck out five in the 1999 All-Star game.

In the bottom of the second, the American League got into trouble as Paul Goldschmidt beat out an infield single and advanced to second on an errant throw from Donaldson.  After Dallas Keuchel got Buster Posey to ground out, while advancing Goldschmidt to third, Ned Yost made an aggressive move and brought his infield in.  It ended up paying off as Anthony Rizzo grounded out, failing to score Goldschmidt.  With two outs, Johnny Peralta made sure the National League didn’t squander their opportunity, hitting a bloop single to right field to tie the game at one, before Keuchel rebounded to strike out Joc Pederson to end the inning, and his night.

Former unsigned Yankees draft pick Gerrit Cole came on for the National League pitching a scoreless third inning, allowing no hits, while striking out Trout and walking Donaldson in the process.  Felix Hernandez was the third inning pitcher for the American League, and tossed a 1-2-3 inning, while picking up a strikeout.

National League manager Bruce Bochy went to own his ace for the fourth inning, summoning Madison Bumgarner from the bullpen.  Bumgarner found himself in trouble as Lorenzo Cain singled off of him in between two fly outs to right field.  Facing Salvador Perez, in a rematch of the last at-bat of the World Series, Bumgarner picked up a strike out, but Perez reached first on a wild pitch, as Cain advanced to third.  With two Royals on base, Jose Altuve bounced into a force out ending the threat, as Bumgarner rewarded his manager’s decision to add him to the roster.

David Price entered for the American League in the fourth inning setting the National League’s 3-4-5 hitters down in order, as he struck out Bryce Harper and Goldschmidt, before getting Posey to fly out to right field.

Bochy went to Clayton Kershaw of the rival Dodgers to begin the fifth inning, and Alcides Escobar immediately hit a single past Todd Frazier, who was playing in on the grass.  In a battle of 2014 MVP’s, Kershaw got Mike Trout to bounce into a force play, which would have been a double play, if not for Trout’s speed.

Pinch-hitting for Donaldson, Manny Machado just missed hitting a two-run home run that could have been a real difference maker in a game played so tightly, instead resulting in a loud out number two.  Kershaw followed the warning track fly ball by walking Albert Pujols.  Entering the game for Nelson Cruz, Prince Fielder singled home Trout to give the American League a 2-1 lead.  Cain followed with an RBI double that scored Pujols, pushing the lead to 3-1.

With runners on second and third, Brett Gardner became the first Yankee to enter the game, pinch-hitting for Adam Jones.  Unfortunately for Gardner and Yankees fans, he struck out looking in his first career All-Star Game at-bat, but not before the American League regained the lead, something much more important in a game with home-field advantage on the line.

In the bottom half of the fifth, Chris Archer took over for the American League, while Machado and Gardner stayed in the game, at third base and left field, respectively.  Stephen Vogt was brought in to catch, and Jason Kipnis entered at second base.  Archer was able to hold the American League’s lead, working around a one-out walk to Peralta on route to pitching a scoreless fifth inning.

Mets pitcher Jacob DeGrom came on for the National League in the sixth inning, and the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year responded by striking out the side in order on just ten pitches, forcing FOX announcer Joe Buck to declare that DeGrom possesses “the best stuff we’ve seen all night”.  DeGrom became just the eighth pitcher in All-Star Game history to strike out all three batters he faced.

Archer was back on the mound to begin the bottom of the sixth, as another Yankee, Mark Teixeira entered at first base.  J.D. Martinez also entered in right field, and Jose Iglesias remained in the game at shortstop, leaving Trout as the only American League starter in the game.

Andrew McCutchen led off the inning with a home run to left field.  McCutchen’s home run, combined with Trout’s, brought more history, as 2015 became just the second time in All-Star game history that both starting leadoff hitters hit home runs.  The first time happened exactly fifty years prior, in 1965, as Willie Mays and Dick McAuliffe both hit home runs.

With the lead now 3-2, Archer got hometown hero Todd Frazier to bounce to Machado, who would’ve thrown the ball away if not for a great stretch by Teixeira.  With left-handed hitting Harper coming to the plate, Ned Yost tapped into his strong bullpen for the first time, bringing on southpaw Zach Britton, who responded by striking out Harper.  Britton followed by getting Goldschmidt to hit a slow roller back to the mound, yet he made an errant throw, allowing Goldschmidt to reach base.

After a walk to Yadier Molina, Troy Tulowitzki came on to pinch-hit for Anthony Rizzo with the tying run in scoring position.  Britton was able to get Tulowitziki to hit into an inning-ending force out, sending the game to the seventh inning with the American League’s lead in tact at 3-2.

Francisco Rodriguez entered for the National League in the seventh and began his night by walking Trout, who Yost left in for a fourth plate appearance.  Trout was finally pulled out of the game, as Brock Holt was brought in to replace the American League leadoff hitter.

With Machado hitting, Holt took second base on a delayed steal, giving the American League an opportunity to extend their lead with nobody out.  Machado did just that, as he hit a double off the wall to right-center field, scoring Holt, and pushing the lead to 4-2.

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was next to hit, and he did his job, as he moved Machado to third base with just one out, by grounding out into the shift in his first All-Star Game at-bat since 2009.  Fielder, already with one RBI to his name, brought Machado home for his second RBI of the night, with a sacrifice fly to centerfield, giving the American League the biggest lead of the night at 5-2.

Following the singing of “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch, Dellin Betances entered for the bottom of the seventh, becoming the third, and final, Yankee to enter the game.  Betances being brought on also ensured that all three Yankees representatives got into the game, unlike last year where only Derek Jeter saw the playing field (Masahiro Tanaka was scratched due to injury and Betances didn’t enter the game).

In his All-Star game debut, and pitching with two of his teammates in the field behind him, Betances pitched a scoreless seventh inning, picking up one strikeout and working around a one-out walk to Kris Bryant.

Brett Gardner led off the eighth inning for the American League, facing former Yankee Mark Melancon.  As he did in his first at-bat, Gardner took strike three looking once again.  Melancon followed by striking out another former Yankee, Russell Martin, looking.  Pinch-hitting for Kipnis, Brian Dozier hit a home run off Melancon to dead center, extending the American League’s lead to 6-2.

For the eighth inning, Ned Yost went to his own set-up man, Wade Davis.  Davis responded with a scoreless eighth inning, allowing just a single to Justin Upton, while picking up two strikeouts, and getting some help from a strong defensive play by Jose Iglesias.

Aroldis Chapman was brought in to pitch the ninth inning in front of his hometown fans.  Chapman’s night began facing Holt, and he struck Holt out on five fastballs, four of which were over 100 miles per hour (the first pitch he threw was 99 miles per hour).  Chapman then struck out pinch-hitter Mike Moustakas on four pitches, touching 103 miles per hour several times.

Mark Teixeira was the next to get a crack at Champan, and like those who came before him, he was also struck out with a fastball north of 100 miles per hour (102 to be exact).  In front of the home crowd, Chapman surely did not disappoint.

Glen Perkins came on to start the ninth inning, and was greeted by pinch-hitter Ryan Braun, who hit a leadoff triple.  Braun was driven in on a sacrifice fly by Brandon Crawford, cutting the American League to 6-3.  Perkins responded by retiring Bryant on a deep fly out, and getting Joe Panik to fly out to end the game.

Price picked up the victory, while Kershaw took the loss.  Mike Trout became the first person ever to repeat an MVP performance in the All-Star Game. Trout also became the fifth player to pick up multiple All-Star Game MVP’s, joining Willie Mays, Steve Garvey, Gary Carter, and Cal Ripken.

The win marked the third straight American League victory.  The American League improved to 10-3 since the changes that gave the winner home-field advantage in the World Series.  They also cut the National League’s all-time lead to 43-41-2.

For the Yankees involved, Betances was the only one with a strong performance, as he threw a scoreless seventh inning, and picked up a strikeout.  Teixeira and Gardner combined to go 0-4 with three strikeouts between them.

More from Yanks Go Yard