Someone forgot to tell the big-league All-Stars that the Home Run Derby was Monday.
Baseball’s top players combined for 10 home runs, most ever in an All-Star Game, and it took 10 innings for the American League to defeat the National League 8-6, and naturally, all the runs scored in that extra frame were on solo homers.
After Aaron Judge and Mike Trout had hit solo homers in the second and third innings for the A.L., Cubs catcher Willson Contreras hit the first N.L. big fly:
Contreras' All-Star Game homer
Willson Contreras goes yard in the All-Star Game! #EverybodyInPosted by Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, July 17, 2018
That homer was hit on the first pitch Contreras saw in the game. You might recall that Willson hit the very first major-league pitch he saw for a home run against the Pirates June 19, 2016. Fun fact about that:
Players to homer in first career MLB At-Bat AND first career All-Star At-Bat— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) July 18, 2018
Terry Steinbach 9/12/1986 (Career) & 7/12/1988 (All-Star)
Willson Contreras 6/19/2016 (Career) & 7/17/2018 (All-Star)
I also noticed that Contreras, as well as his countrymates Wilson Ramos and Salvador Perez, were wearing the Venezuela flag compression sleeve that he’d worn nearly every day until MLB told him he couldn’t. I’m hoping this begins to loosen MLB up on various player apparel.
The game remained at 2- 1 A.L. until the seventh, when Trevor Story homered to tie the game. But when Jean Segura hit a three-run shot off Josh Hader (remember that when I tell you that the Brewers bullpen is running out of gas in the second half) in the eighth to make it 5-2 A.L., it seemed like the game was over.
Christian Yelich made it 5-3 with a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth, and then with a runner on and one out in the last of the ninth, Scooter Gennett homered off Edwin Diaz to tie the game.
Entertaining, no doubt.
The home-run barrage continued in extras. Astros teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer homered back-to-back off Ross Stripling, and then a pair of singles put runners on first and third.
Then the only run in the game that did not score as a direct result of a home run was put across the plate via a sacrifice fly hit by Michael Brantley to make it 8-5. Too bad for that one in a way, because:
There has been at least one #AllStarGame where all runs scored via the home run.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) July 18, 2018
1971. Home Runs by Johnny Bench, Henry Aaron, Reggie Jackson, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew & Roberto Clemente.
Might be other examples, but it HAS happened before.
Here's another one.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) July 18, 2018
The second 1960 All-Star Game (there were two each year from 1959-62)
6-0 win for NL all scored on 4 home runs - by Eddie Mathews, Willie Mays, Stan Musial & Ken Boyer
And another one.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) July 18, 2018
1967 All-Star Game.
2-1 win by NL. Home Runs by Dick Allen, Brooks Robinson & Tony Pérez
and 1942.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) July 18, 2018
3-1 win by AL.
Solo HR by Lou Boudreau (leadoff) & Mickey Owen
2-run HR by Rudy York
Still, it wouldn’t have been right if at least one more homer wasn’t hit, and Joey Votto smacked one off J.A. Happ in the bottom of the 10th. Fun fact:
Extra Inning All Star Games HR All Time— GagsterSportsStatman (@MikeGarrigan3) July 18, 2018
2017-2018: 4@ckamka @ScottGrodsky @jaysonst
Happ retired the next three hitters to give the win to the American League, the A.L.’s sixth consecutive win in the Midsummer Classic. It was the 13th time the All-Star Game had gone to extra innings and the second time we’ve had back-to-back ASG go extras (the other time: 1966-67).
Incidentally, I had read earlier — and posted here — that the A.L. was supposed to be the “home” team in Nationals Park, as this was the fourth straight year the ASG was played in a N.L. park and the A.L. had been the home team at Petco Park in San Diego in 2016. For whatever reason, that didn’t turn out to be the case and the N.L. was the home team at Nationals Park.
The Cubs’ other All-Star participant, Javier Baez, singled to lead off the game, but we didn’t see any El Mago fun from him either on the basepaths or in the field. Javy went 1-for-3 and Willson went 1-for-2, and best of all, both left the game healthy and ready to resume the season Thursday at Wrigley Field.
Neither team has officially announced starting pitchers for Thursday’s game, but it’s expected that Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs and Carlos Martinez will go for the Cardinals. Game time Thursday is 6:05 p.m. CT and it’s a full national broadcast on ESPN.