NL’s big first inning sets the tone for the rest of the night
Justin Verlander would probably enjoy being in the same category and on the same level as one of the great pitchers Roger Clemens. But not this time. Last night’s All-Star game marks the first time that there was such an onslaught of runs in the first inning since 2004 when Roger Clemens gave up six runs in Houston, his home stadium.
Last night, Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander had a rough first inning playing in the 83rd annual MLB All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
It all started with Melky Cabrera’s one-out single, which turned into a run with the help of, reigning NL MVP, Ryan Braun’s double off the fence. Verlander was able to capitalize on Joey Votto, striking out getting caught staring. The pressure turned on; however, when Verlander pitched two consecutive walks. The bases were loaded, and up came big hitting Pablo Sandoval. Verlander continued to have shaky command on his fastball, and Sandoval made him pay for it, rocketing one off the right field fence for bases loaded clearing triple- a first in All-Star history. To put the icing on the cake, Dan Uggla’s single sent Sandoval in for the fifth and final run of the inning. Rafael Furcal hit into a force out of Dan Uggla at second to end an anything but pretty first.
Verlander remarked on his performance to MLB.com, “Obviously you don't want to go out like that, but hey, I had fun," Verlander said. "That's why I don't try to throw 100 [mph] in the first inning. Doesn't usually work out too well for me.”
The field was relatively quiet until the top of the fourth when Furcal hit a two-out triple to right field. Pinch hitter Matt Holliday singled to shallow right, driving in Furcal for the NL’s sixth run. Then, to-be All-Star MVP Melky Cabrera came up to the plate and hit a 2-run homer, bringing home Matt Holliday as well. That completed the NL’s demolition of the AL’s pitching staff and fielding.
The NL’s pitching staff including but not limited to Matt Cain, R.A. Dickey, Jonathan Papelbon, Stephen Strasburg, and Aroldis Chapman all had true ‘All-Star’ performances for allowing a combined six hits in the entire game.
This All-Star game set a record for the largest NL winning margin in All-Star game history; whereas, the AL had an even bigger winning margin of 12 in 1946 at Fenway Park.