By Jordan Wevers @JordanWevers on July 16, 2014
Another Midsummer Classic in the books, another win for the AL. Dating back to 1997, the AL has dominated MLB's All-Star Game, winning 14 of the 18 contests, with the 2002 game ending in a tie. Derek Jeter played in his final one this year at Target Field. He was named MVP of the ASG in 2000. You have to wonder how much his presence in these games over the last decade and a half correlates to the AL's success?
Since becoming the full-time closer for the Braves in 2011, Kimbrel has not missed an All-Star Game. From 2011-13, he has averaged 46 saves per season. He currently leads MLB in saves for 2014, with 29. He is only 26 years old. If he can stay healthy and play 12 more seasons averaging 43 saves per season, he will eclipse Mariano Rivera on the all-time list. On Tuesday night, Kimbrel struck out the side on 19 pitches in his only inning.
Though Hernandez is the clear front runner right now, AL pitching bested the NL lineup for the most part. The group allowed only three earned runs, and struck out a combined 12. After King Felix, players like Scott Kazmir, David Price, Chris Sale and Max Scherzer can be considered serious contenders. And then there are the candidates who didn't even make the ASG, like Sonny Gray, Corey Kluber or Garrett Richards.
Wainwright said he gave Jeter a few "pipe shots" in his first AB. Jeter commented by essentially saying that getting a good pitch is only half the battle, the ball still has to be put in play. Wainwright threw a 91 and 90 MPH fastball to Jeter, the second of which he slapped to right field for a double. Wainwright's fastballs have averaged 90.6 MPH in 2014, so this certainly wasn't the first time he "grooved" a fastball in a game this year.
The Captain personifies great sportsmanship, leadership and being a winner. America showed their appreciation towards his illustrious career Tuesday night in Minneapolis. It must have been an emotional time for him, as well as the millions of grown adults around North and Central America who grew up idolizing the future Hall of Fame shortstop as kids.
The kid they call the Millville Meteor from Vineland, NJ has had a tremendous start to his career. He nearly won AL MVP to go with his ROY award as a 20-year-old in 2012. Trout is a five-tool player in every way -- perhaps the greatest one of the last half century. Only time will tell. But it's clear that he is now the face of a generation, and being named the MVP of the 85th All-Star Game with two extra base hits and two RBI solidified that.
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