2009 All-Star Game
From BR Bullpen
The American League won the game 4-3 over the National League, its 12th consecutive win since 1997 - with one tie in 2002. Carl Crawford of the Tampa Bay Rays was selected as the game's Most Valuable Player for robbing Brad Hawpe of a home run by climbing over the left field fence in the 7th inning.
 The Teams
 American League
 National League
 The Game
The American League defeated the National League 4-3 in the 80th All-Star Game, held in Busch Stadium, in St. Louis. The game had not been held in St. Louis since 1966, when a previous version of Busch Stadium was used.
In pre-game ceremonies, President Barack Obama threw the ceremonial first pitch, his first such presence at a baseball game since his inauguration the previous January. He was accompanied on the field by six Hall of Famers who played for the St. Louis Cardinals: Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Bruce Sutter, Ozzie Smith, Red Schoendienst and Lou Brock. Obama threw the picth to Albert Pujols, who made the link to the Cardinal teams of the present. President Obama was wearing a Chicago White Sox warm-up jacket - he had previousy stated that he was a fan of the team from his hometown's south side -, but the gesture elicited a few boos from the crowd, as the city of Chicago is a traditional rival of St. Louis.
On the field, two former Cy Young Award winners faced off on the mound, Tim Lincecum for the NL and Roy Halladay for the AL. Lincecum appeared very nervous, throwing a number of pitches over opposing batters' heads and quickly found himself in trouble as leadoff hitter Ichiro Suzuki singled and he hit Derek Jeter with a pitch. Joe Mauer hit a tapper that barely traveled a foot ahead of home plate; catcher Yadier Molina pounced on it, threw to third to retire Suzuki, but 3B David Wright's throw back to first lacked vigor and Mauer was safe. Mark Teixeira then hit another potential double play ball, towards hometown hero Pujols at first base, but Phat Albert mishandled it, allowing Jeter to score and Mauer and Teixeira to be safe. Jason Bay then singled to center to load the bases and Josh Hamilton hit another grounder to Pujols. This time, it was fielded cleanly, but the defense could only get the force at second, allowing Mauer to score the AL's second run. Michael Young then grounded out to Wright to end the inning.
In contrast to Lincecum, Roy Halladay appeared completely unfazed by the circumstances. He mowed down the National League in order in the top of the 1st, then came to bat in the 2nd and struck out on a superb Lincecum curve ball after fouling two tough high fastballs. Doc then retired the first two NL batters in the bottom of the 2nd, and shattered Wright's bat on a pitch, but the ball blooped into center field for a single. Just like that, the roof collapsed on Halladay. Shane Victorino followed with a single, then Yadier Molina hit another single to center. Wright scored easily and CF Josh Hamilton tried to gun down Victorino heading for third base, but the throw hit the Flying Hawaiian in the back and allowed him to score, putting Molina on second. Prince Fielder, winner of the previous day's Home Run Derby, pinch hit for Lincecum and lined a double down the left field line, scoring Molina for a 3-2 NL lead. Hanley Ramirez then grounded out to second to end the inning.
After this initial outburst of scoring, the pitching staffs became dominant. Starting with Ramirez's ground out, American League pitchers retired 18 consecutive batters before Adrian Gonzalez drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the 8th. In the meantime, the AL bats were heard a few times. In the 5th, against Chad Billingsley, Carl Crawford led off with a single but was forced out by Ichiro, who was in turn forced out by Jeter. With two outs, Mauer doubled to right to tie the score at 3. It remained that way until the bottom of the 7th, when Jonathan Papelbon came in to pitch for the AL. The first batter he faced, Brad Hawpe, hit a fly ball to deep left; Crawford raced to the fence, jumped and snatched the ball as it was above the fence, robbing Hawpe of a home run, a tremendous catch that saved the game for the junior circuit. The next batter, Miguel Tejada, hit another deep fly, this time to right field, but Adam Jones caught it at the warning track. Papelbon then struck out Jayson Werth to end a hairy half-inning.
The American League scored the winning run in the top of the 8th, against Heath Bell. Curtis Granderson hit a one-out a triple against the left field fence. Justin Upton, playing out of position in LF, misjudged the ball, which bounced to Werth, who was also out of position in CF, Werth overthrew the cut-off man, allowing Granderson to slide into third just ahead of the throw. Manager Charlie Manuel then decided to issue an intentional walk to Victor Martinez, a highly-unusual move for an All-Star Game, in order to set up a potential double play. Adam Jones defeated the strategy by hitting a fly ball to right field for a sacrifice fly and a 4-3 lead.
After two outs in the 8th, the National League ended its streak of consecutive outs when Gonzalez drew a full-count walk from Joe Nathan. Orlando Hudson singled on a ball just out of SS Jason Bartlett's diving reach, to place runners at the corners. Ryan Howard came in to pinch hit for Bell, but he struck out to end the threat. In the 9th, both Francisco Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera pitched perfect innings. Rivera earned a save of an All-Star Game for the fourth time of his illustrious career.
 Starting Lineups
|American League|| Batting
|Ichiro Suzuki||RF||Seattle Mariners||1||Hanley Ramirez||SS||Florida Marlins|
|Derek Jeter||SS||New York Yankees||2||Chase Utley||2B||Philadelphia Phillies|
|Joe Mauer||C||Minnesota Twins||3||Albert Pujols||1B||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Mark Teixeira||1B||New York Yankees||4||Ryan Braun||RF||Milwaukee Brewers|
|Jason Bay||LF||Boston Red Sox||5||Raul Ibanez||LF||Philadelphia Phillies|
|Josh Hamilton||CF||Texas Rangers||6||David Wright||3B||New York Mets|
|Michael Young||3B||Texas Rangers||7||Shane Victorino||CF||Philadelphia Phillies|
|Aaron Hill||2B||Toronto Blue Jays||8||Yadier Molina||C||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Roy Halladay||P||Toronto Blue Jays||9||Tim Lincecum||P||San Francisco Giants|
 Line Score
|Major League Baseball's All-Star Game
1933 | 1934 | 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939