The starting pitchers and starting lineups for the All-Star Game have been announced. There aren’t a ton of surprises.
Max Scherzer will start for the National League. This was an easy choice for Cubs manager Joe Maddon given that the only other possible choice, Clayton Kershaw, is unavailable due to pitching yesterday. Scherzer, the defending NL Cy Young Award winner ranks first in the National League in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts and has looked like a threat to toss a no-hitter for most of the year.
The Red Sox’ Chris Sale gets the nod for the AL. It’s his second straight year as the All-Star starter, doing so last year for the White Sox. Sale has posted a 2.75 ERA over 18 starts and he leads the majors with 178 strikeouts.
Here’s the National League lineup:
1. Charlie Blackmon CF
2. Giancarlo Stanton DH
3. Bryce Harper RF
4. Buster Posey C
5. Daniel Murphy 2B
6. Nolan Arenado 3B
7. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
8. Marcell Ozuna LF
9. Zack Cozart SS
For the American League:
1. Jose Altuve 2B
2. Jose Ramirez 3B
3. Aaron Judge RF
4. George Springer LF
5. Carlos Correa SS
6. Justin Smoak 1B
7. Corey Dickerson DH
8. Salvador Perez C
9. Mookie Betts CF
Of course, do not expect either of these lineups to last long. Both Maddon and AL manager Brad Mills — filling in for Terry Francona, who is recovering from a heart procedure — said today that, given that this is now a pure exhibition with no World Series home field advantage considerations, they will try to get all players on the roster into the game. Expect heavy substitutions and, as is often the case, the game to be decided by the benches.
Here are the entire All-Star rosters.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.