2008 All-Star Game
The 2008 All-Star Game was held on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at Yankee Stadium in New York, NY. It was the 79th edition of the midsummer classic and was the 12th straight Game which the National League failed to win. The contest went 15 innings with the American League winning 4-3 despite going 3 for 22 with runners in scoring position.
The AL had lost the last 7 extra-inning All-Star Games which did not end in a tie. The game was held in front of 55,632 fans. The MVP was J.D. Drew of the Boston Red Sox, who went 2 for 4 with a two-run homer. There were a record seven steals, six of them by the AL (Drew, Derek Jeter, Josh Hamilton, Grady Sizemore, Milton Bradley and Ian Kinsler). The game went 4 hours and 50 minutes, a new All-Star Game record.
The 2008 All-Star Game was a thrilling game which threatened to repeat the quandary of the 2002 All-Star Game, in which both teams ran out of pitchers and Commissioner Bud Selig had to decide to call the game a tie. This time, the game went on into the wee hours of the morning, and position players Evan Longoria and Nate McLouth were prepared to take the mound if the game had not been decided on a close play at the plate in the bottom of the 15th inning. Both teams had threatened to score earlier in extra innings, but had been thwarted by defensive gems and some clutch pitching.
The National League opened the scoring in the 5th inning when RF Matt Holliday, starting in place of the injured Alfonso Soriano homered off Ervin Santana. Hanley Ramirez led off the next inning with a single, went to third on Chase Utley's base hit and then scored on Lance Berkman's sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. Meanwhile, the first three National League pitchers, Ben Sheets, Carlos Zambrano and Dan Haren each pitched two scoreless innings to put the senior circuit in the driver's seat.
The American League finally got on the scoreboard in the 7th inning, against Cincinnati's Edinson Volquez. Justin Morneau led off with a double, and with two outs, J.D. Drew homered to right to tie the score. Boston's Jonathan Papelbon came out to pitch the 8th for the American League and was greeted by loud booing from the Yankee Stadium crowd. He made the boos louder by coughing up a run after a lead-off single by Miguel Tejada, who stole second base and took third on catcher Dioner Navarro's throwing error. Adrian Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly to put the National League back on top. The junior circuit tied it up immediately on a similar scenario after San Francisco's Brian Wilson retired the first two batters of the inning. Lefty Billy Wagner then came in to face Grady Sizemore and allowed a single. Sizemore stole second and pinch-hitter Evan Longoria doubled him in.
The score stayed tied at 3 runs apiece for the next 5 innings, but not for a lack of trying by both teams. In the top of the 10th, Dan Uggla grounded into an inning-ending double play with Russell Martin on third base. In the bottom of the inning, both Michael Young and Carlos Quentin reached base on errors by Uggla and Carlos Guillen was intentionally walked to load the bases with none out. Pitcher Aaron Cook managed to wriggle out of the jam by forcing Sizemore and Longoria to ground into consecutive fielder's choices, both resulting in a runner being cut off at the plate. Shortstop Tejada then made a nice stop on a shot by Morneau and threw him out to end the inning.
The American League was at it again in the 11th, as Ian Kinsler led off with a single but was caught stealing by Martin. Navarro then walked, followed by a single by Drew. Young singled and Navarro ran for home but was cut off by a great throw from center fielder Nate McLouth to Martin. Quentin then grounded out to end the threat. In the 12th, the National League loaded the bases with one out, but Joakim Soria struck out Uggla, then was relieved by George Sherrill who struck out Gonzalez to end the inning. Both managers were into pitching staff management by this point, with National League manager Clint Hurdle bringing back Cook for a third inning of work, and his AL counterpart Terry Francona leaving Sherrill in the game for 2⅓ innings, the longest outing of his career for the LOOGY-turned-closer. Cook faced more trouble in the 12th, in the form of a lead-off double by Guillen who then went to third on Sizemore's ground out, but he struck out Longoria and Kinsler grounded out to end yet another threat.
The game finally came to an end in the bottom of the 15th. With Brad Lidge pitching for the NL, Morneau hit a lead-off single. Kinsler lined out to left fielder Ryan Ludwick, who made a nice play, then Navarro singled to move Morneau to second. Drew then walked on a full count to bring up Young with the bases loaded. He hit a fly ball to right fielder Corey Hart. Hart made a strong throw home, but Morneau slid in under catcher Brian McCann's tag to score the winning run. The winning pitcher was Scott Kazmir, who had pitched the 15th inning as the AL's last available pitcher and would not have been able to pitch any more after a 104-pitch outing only two days earlier.
David Ortiz, who had been voted as the AL's starting DH by fans, missed the game because of a sore wrist. For the NL, pitcher Tim Lincecum was struck by the flu and was unable to play. Dan Uggla set a record by committing three errors, all in extra innings, while the American League stole a record six bases, by six different players. The 15 innings tied the record set in the 1967 All-Star Game, while the total playing time of 4:50 easily made this game the longest-lasting All-Star Game ever.
|Hanley Ramirez||SS||Florida Marlins||1||Ichiro Suzuki||RF||Seattle Mariners|
|Chase Utley||2B||Philadelphia Phillies||2||Derek Jeter||SS||New York Yankees|
|Lance Berkman||1B||Houston Astros||3||Josh Hamilton||CF||Texas Rangers|
|Albert Pujols||DH||St. Louis Cardinals||4||Alex Rodriguez||3B||New York Yankees|
|Chipper Jones||3B||Atlanta Braves||5||Manny Ramirez||LF||Boston Red Sox|
|Matt Holliday||RF||Colorado Rockies||6||Milton Bradley||DH||Texas Rangers|
|Ryan Braun||LF||Milwaukee Brewers||7||Kevin Youkilis||1B||Boston Red Sox|
|Kosuke Fukudome||CF||Chicago Cubs||8||Joe Mauer||C||Minnesota Twins|
|Geovany Soto||C||Chicago Cubs||9||Dustin Pedroia||2B||Boston Red Sox|
|Ben Sheets||P||Milwaukee Brewers||SP||Cliff Lee||P||Cleveland Indians|
National: Matt Holliday (5th)
American: J.D. Drew (7th)
|Major League Baseball's All-Star Game
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