All-Star Game Was Lopsided But At Least It Did Not End In A Tie

Milwaukee was home to the 2002 MLB All-Star Game and much hype and anticipation was leading up to the game. Several baseball heroes from the past were scheduled to be honored before that year’s Mid-Summer Classic and both rosters were loaded with talent. Add a ballpark that was fairly new at the time in the mix and the game was gearing up to be a classic battle between the American League and the National League.

As the game wore on, there was lots of back and forth action and several lead changes. Both teams were evenly matched and the game was bound for extra innings. I had to be up early the next day and had to go to bed prior to the game ending.

When I awoke next morning, I raced downstairs to check the newspaper to see who won the game and saw the following headline:

“2002 All-Star Game Ends in a Tie.”

WHAT??!!!!!!

My dad came down minutes later and saw the puzzled look on my face. He mentioned to me that they called the game because both teams had run out of pitchers. I knew he wasn’t joking because the article that corresponded with the headline was mentioning the same information.

Regardless of what was at stake, I was still shocked the game ended in a tie. This was the annual battle between the American and National Leagues and there was no winner. It was the first time it had ever happened in the history of the game and it didn’t seem real.

Ten years have passed since that infamous tie and home field advantage in the World Series is now used as an incentive for both teams to win. This rule was placed in 2003, just one year after the infamous tie. 2012’s All-Star Game was set to be played in Kansas City and hopes that history would not repeat itself surfaced when articles came out remembering the 2002 All-Star Game.

Similar to the game ten years ago, anticipation was high and both starters are considered to be amongst the best in the game. Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander would get the start on the hill for the American League and his National League counterpart would be San Francisco Giants pitcher, Matt Cain.

Verlander managed to strikeout leadoff hitter Carlos Gonzalez to start the game but things would not go smoothly for him after that point. Verlander would give up a hit to Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera and the National League would eventually get on the board first with a double from Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun one batter later. With that hit, the National League was up just 1-0 and it would not be the last run Verlander would give up in the inning.

Verlander would go on to strikeout Reds first baseman to get two outs in the inning but getting the third out would be tougher than expected. Verlander ended up walking the next two batters and Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval would triple to put the National League up 4-0. One batter later, Braves second baseman Dan Uggla would reach first on an infield single that would score Sandoval from third. With only two outs, the National League had taken a 5-0 lead.

The American League bats were quiet the next few innings and the National League would eventually go up 8-0 in the fourth on a three-run home run from Melky Cabrera. Texas Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison was on the mound at the time and his four-seam fastball ended up in the left field stands.

After that point, there would not be another run scored in the game. The American League had opportunities with the bases loaded numerous times but could never capitalize.

In less than five innings, fans saw all of the scoring that would take place in the 2012 All-Star Game. The game was not close and it would be the sixth time the National League shut out the American League but at least it did not end in a tie.

 

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~ by jeffrsabo on July 15, 2012.

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