It was so devoid of memorable performances that Shane Bieber of the Indians was named the MVP of the game for striking out all three batters he faced in the fifth inning. (I suppose this was the safe choice, handing out the prize to a member of the host team.)
I have just a couple of comments about this game and then, with all of you, will wait for the MLB season to resume Thursday (Astros vs. Rangers) and the Cubs season to pick up again Friday when they host the Pirates at Wrigley Field.
First, the booing of Cubs Javier Baez, Willson Contreras and Kris Bryant during the introductions... I mean, seriously? Yeah, I get it, the Cubs won the World Series in Cleveland, the hometown fans are still unhappy because their WS drought continues, but this is an exhibition game celebrating baseball. If you don’t want to cheer for those players, remaining silent is probably a better option. It’s not like the Cubs haven’t played in Cleveland since 2016 — they played two games there last year, splitting them, although not many saw those April 2018 games (16,408 and 15,712, combined about 5,000 fewer than were in Progressive Field Tuesday night).
Save the booing for things that count, is my opinion. The Cleveland fans booed Yankees players, too, I suppose just because they’re Yankees.
As for the performance of the three Cubs... they all departed the game without hits. Baez and Contreras were each 0-for-2 with a strikeout and Bryant also struck out in his only at-bat. They all left the game healthy, and that’s the important thing from our viewpoint. That also left this intact:
The last #Cubs player with a hit in consecutive All-Star games is Andre Dawson (1987-88).— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) July 10, 2019
Good chance it stays that way, as Báez & Contreras are a combined 0-3 thus far.
What I did like about this game was the players wearing microphones. That’s something that adds to the fun nature of a game like this, where the result is mostly meaningless. I suppose Joe Buck could have asked more cogent questions, or maybe give the players wireless earpieces and let them talk to each other during the game. That might be more interesting than hearing them talking to Buck. But that’s the fun part of games like this. MLB and Fox should try to come up with other ideas to spice up a game that’s lost viewers over the last few years.
And unlike last year, when a record number of ASG homers was hit (including one by Contreras), just two players went deep Tuesday night: Charlie Blackmon and Joey Gallo.
And so, another All-Star Game is in the books. Next year the stars will convene at Dodger Stadium and in 2021 they’ll be at SunTrust Park in Atlanta. The Cubs are known to want to host an ASG, something that hasn’t happened at Wrigley Field since 1990. Perhaps in 2022. In the meantime, there’s business for the Cubs to take care of when their season resumes Friday. We hope for better and more consistent play out of the talented Cubs roster and that they’ll assert themselves in the N.L. Central.
Yu Darvish will start for the Cubs Friday against the Pirates and Pittsburgh will go with Chris Archer . Game time Friday is 1:20 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via NBC Sports Chicago.