Seattle Mariners slugger Robinson Cano was the hero in this year’s MLB All Star Game, leading off the 10th inning with a home run off of Chicago Cubs Wade Davis that sealed the victory for the American League over the National League. The former Home Run Derby winner ended up earning the Most Valuable Player award on the day, after being selected as a reserve due New York Yankees Starlin Castro being injured.
This was the 5th straight victory for the American League, and the 12th victory in the last 15 years. While this season’s highlights have been the power hitters and home runs, the pitchers shined on this day (July 11th) as the game was knotted up at 1-1 when it went into extra innings. Both teams combined for 23 strikeouts, with St. Louis Cardinals Carlos Martinez shining as he struck out 4 of the 8 batters he faced and only allowed one hit.
Martinez called his performance a tribute to Jose Fernandez, whose locker he sat beside prior to the game in the Miami Marlins locker room. The late pitcher was a two-time All Star who was killed in a boating accident last September, and many players did their best to show out in his memory. Washington Nationals Bryce Harper even sported cleats with a picture of Fernandez on them.
Though the All Star Game no longer decides who gets home field advantage in the World Series, it was still highly competitive and exciting. Coaches specifically made the effort to get every player involved, since there was no real prize up for grabs. The rest of the season, after the All Star Break concludes, ought to match the level of excitement the All Star Game had as teams look to right their wrongs from the first half of the season and fight for playoff berth.