All-Star Reflections

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by Patrick McIntosh

The All-Star Baseball game marks a great part of the summer.  During the break, you can look at some stats, see how that season is going, and reflect a little.  You can also predict how the season will continue.  Try these stats on for size and see how YOU think the season will continue.

The National League won for just the fifth time in 24 years. Scoring in the first half of the game dropped to its lowest level in 19 years and the major league batting average shrunk to its smallest mid-season figure since 1985.

With the steroid-era coming to an end, the All-Star game was a defensive show with the strongest pitching getting thrown down.  Heath Bell and Brian Wilson were on while the heat was matching the triple digits outside the stadium.  Brian Wilson, of the Giants, got two outs and earned the save.

“It felt a little bit like last year when you come into a pressure situation and you try to do as clutch a performance as you can,” Wilson said.

Wilson sounded more impressed with Bell’s theatrics after he sprinted from the bullpen and slid across the infield grass to the mound.

The National League claimed home-field advantage in the game with its only blemish being Adrian Gonzalez’s homer in the fourth off Cliff Lee.  Prince Fielder connected in the bottom half of the inning against C.J.Wilson.

Despite all of this, can you really use the All-Star Game as a “measuring stick for the season?” There were quite a few players out.

Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, CC Sabathia, and other players who started Sunday were ineligible; Alex Rodriguez was with those on the disabled list and Derek Jeter wanted a break.  In total, 16 of 84 All-Stars were no-shows.  Though, Muhamed Ali was made an appearance.

All-stars are not going to risk injury for the sake of pushing themselves in the game.  Some admitted, that they bowed-out with minor injuries that they would have played through if it were a regular-season game.

The National League had a 5-1 victory Tuesday night, giving them their first two-game winning streak since the mid-1990s.  Is this an indicator of some lopsided talent?  Is the “era-of-the-pitcher” dawning on us?  What are YOUR thoughts, this mid-season?

Patrick McIntosh is a Sports Writer  with When Magazine and is also up to
some skiing and soccer blog shenanigans at http:www.PatrickMcIntosh.com.