After a Home Run Derby that didn’t exactly live up to last year’s
excitement, the best players from the American League are ready to take
on the National League at Busch Stadium. Tim Lincecum will be firing the first pitch of the night, opposed by Blue Jays ace and star of recent trade talks Roy Halladay.
When and Where
8 p.m. ET (FOX), July 14, 2009
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Mo.
American League — 37-40-2
National League — 40-37-2
Despite holding the all-time series lead, the National League has had a
tough decade in the Midsummer Classic. Since winning 6-0 in
Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium in 1996 (John Smoltz
was the winning pitcher), the National League has lost 11 of the past
12 games, only managing an infamous tie in 2002. The NL has competed
closely, however, with the average margin of victory for the AL over
the past six years at 1.83 runs.
|Ichiro Suzuki, RF||Hanley Ramirez, SS|
|Derek Jeter, SS||Chase Utley, 2B|
|Joe Mauer, C||Albert Pujols, 1B|
|Mark Teixeira, 1B||Ryan Braun, RF|
|Jason Bay, LF||Raul Ibanez, LF|
|Josh Hamilton, CF||David Wright, 3B|
|Evan Longoria, 3B||Shane Victorino, CF|
|Aaron Hill, 2B||Yadier Molina, C|
|Roy Halladay, P||Tim Lincecum, P|
RHP Tim Lincecum (10-2, 2.33 ERA) vs. RHP Roy Halladay (10-3, 2.85 ERA)
Both aces are making their first All-Star starts. Halladay,
who was been at the center of endless trade discussions over the past
week, is an All-Star for the sixth time. He hasn’t been great in
All-Star Games, pitching four innings and giving up four earned runs on
seven hits in his three appearances.
Lincecum is an All-Star for the second consecutive year. However,
last year Lincecum was unable to pitch due to flu-like symptoms and
dehydration. He is coming off a win on Thursday in which he carried a
no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Padres.
Carlos Pena, a late addition to the team, leads the AL in home runs with 24.
Nelson Cruz, who finished second in Monday’s Home Run Derby, has 22 home runs, tying him for second with Russell Branyan, who is not on the All-Star team.
Joe Mauer leads the majors in hitting with a .373 average.
Of the AL All-Stars, Derek Jeter has had the highest batting average in July, hitting .400 in 50 at-bats.
Ichiro Suzuki cemented his spot on the roster by
hitting .407 in June. His average was .354 heading into the month and
was .373 coming out of the month.
Of the AL starters, Justin Verlander has the most walks with 38. Just behind him is Tim Wakefield with 37, Felix Hernandez with 36 and Josh Beckett and Edwin Jackson with 35.
Verlander, however, leads the league in strikeouts with 149 in 122 1/3 innings. Behind him is Jon Lester, who is not on the All-Star team, with 131, Zack Greinke (129), Hernandez (121), Beckett (110) and Halladay (106).
All-Star relievers Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan, Brian Fuentes and Andrew Bailey
have all yet to surrender an earned run in July. Nathan and Fuentes
also did not surrender an earned run throughout all of June.
Hanley Ramirez leads the NL in hitting with a .349 average.
Albert Pujols holds a dominant lead in home runs with 32. Adrian Gonzalez is tied with Mark Reynolds for second with 24. Reynolds did not make the team.
Pujols drove in 35 runs in June, belting 14 home runs in the
process. Ramirez drove in 33 runs in the same month with just five
Dan Haren owns the lowest ERA in the NL at 2.01. Lincecum is in second with a 2.33 mark, while teammate Matt Cain has a 2.38 ERA. Florida’s Josh Johnson is fourth with a 2.74 ERA.
Lincecum leads the NL in strikeouts with 149, tying him with Verlander for best in the majors.
Of the NL All-Stars, Chad Billingsley has the most walks with 55.
Reliever Ryan Franklin has not given up a run in five innings in July. He also pitched nine scoreless innings in June.
Black and Blue
Evan Longoria, who was voted in as the starter at third base, is questionable after discovering a finger infection in his right ring finger.
Torii Hunter strained a muscle in his groin last week and will miss the All-Star Game. He was replaced by Nelson Cruz.
Dustin Pedroia was voted in by the fans to start at
second base, but had to withdraw to be with his wife, who was
hospitalized last week after going into premature labor. He was
replaced by Carlos Pena.
Matt Cain won’t participate in the game after taking a line drive off his right elbow on Saturday. He was replaced by Pittsburgh’s Zach Duke.
Jonathan Broxton has an injured big toe and will not participate in the game.
Carlos Beltran has been on the disabled list since June 22 with a bone bruise in his right knee. He was replaced on the roster by Jayson Werth.
This Date in All-Star Game History
In 1970, Carl Yastrzemski registered four
hits, tying an All-Star Game record. He was named the game’s MVP,
despite the fact that the AL lost 5-4. He is the last player to be
given the award in a losing effort.
“People are doubted in a lot of lines of work. You’ve just got
to prove people wrong, show that if you have a lot of heart and
dedication, good things can happen. There’s a lot of guys here in this
room that might not have been drafted higher than the next guy or
offered more money out of the draft, but they kept going out there and
doing a better job than the guy next to them. That’s what’s gotten them
to the big leagues and gotten them here to an All-Star Game.’’
–Kevin Youkilis, in the Boston Globe, on overcoming doubters
Albert Pujols does not think it’s fair that people suspect him of using steroids.
Prince Fielder won Monday night’s Home Run Derby.
The Home Run Derby raised $665,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Miguel Tejada is showing teammate Hunter Pence how to live like an All-Star.
Felix Hernandez has earned his crown with his first All-Star appearance.
Could Ted Lilly and Mark Buehrle be recruiting Roy Halladay to join their respective Chicago teams?
One landing spot for Roy Halladay could be his hometown of Denver.
The National League All-Stars are carrying a heavy burden,
having not won since 1996. Both teams, of course, have powerful
lineups, yet the AL could have a slight edge in the bullpen with Brian
Fuentes, Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon and Joe Nathan at the ready. Should the NL grab a lead, Trevor Hoffman
could get a chance to exorcise the demons from his blown save in 2006.
While the outcome is entirely unpredictable, there is one delivery that
will definitely be made: Barack Obama will throw out the first pitch.
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