2017 MLB All Star Game Recap
Guess what happens when you turn an all-star exhibition into what it is supposed to be: an all-star exhibition.
For the first time since 2002, the 2017 MLB All-Star game did not decide home field advantage for the World Series. The lack of a reward at the end of the game sparked some impromptu fun on the field.
Just ask Yadier Molina.
The future hall of famer ignited the Miami crowd during pre-game introductions by waving the Puerto Rican flag. When he took his place behind home plate to start the sixth inning, the multiple gold glove wining catcher sported a shiny set of gold colored gear that FOX announcers Joe Buck and John Smoltz could not stop talking about. Maybe that is because the game had already turned into the classic all-star game pitching duel.
Molina’s Roman gladiator appearance sparked the up-until-then quiet National League lineup. With nothing more than a few base runners during the first five innings, the National League began testing the AL arms, spurring a few runs out to the mound by American League manager Brad Mills, the Cleveland Indians bench coach who replaced ailing Indians manager Terry Francona.
After spotting the American League to a 1-0 lead, the National League tied the game on a solo opposite field shot by Molina in the bottom of the sixth. Upon his return to the National League dugout, Molina performed the patented Bryce Harper hair toss, which drew a huge laugh from the Washington Nationals star. Molina was also the center of attention later in the game, as Seattle Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz asked Molina to take a photo of Cruz and home plate umpire Joe West.
The 88th rendition of the all-star game featured several stellar displays of glove work by both teams. With starting pitchers dominating both rosters, the game remained scoreless until the top of the fifth inning, when Baltimore’s Jonathan Schoop scored from second on a bloop single by Twins superstar Miguel Sano. After becoming the oldest catcher to hit a home run in an all-star game, Molina and his American League counterpart Gary Sanchez caught the remainder of the 10 inning game.
Mariners slugger Robinson Cano hit the game-winning home run in the 10th to win the game for the American League. Cano’s homer off Cubs closer Wade Davis sealed the case for his earning the Most Valuable Player award, which was the first time a second baseman has earned the honor since 1988. The virtually unhittable Andrew Miller struck out Dodgers phenom Cody Belllinger to end the 3-hour and 16 minute game. With its recent surge against the National League, the extra-inning victory moved the American League into a tie with 43 wins.
The 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star game will be hosted by the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. FOX once again is the host of the purely exhibition baseball game on July 17, 2018. Expect even more impromptu moments of entertainment, as the reminder of the decision to make the game mean something has return to allowing the players to make it mean something.