When I was a kid, the National League won the All-Star Game every year. In the past couple of decades, it’s been dominated by the American League. A tad more dominance by the AL, however, can bring things into a state of equilibrium.
Going into tonight’s contest, the NL leads the series 43-42, with two ties. One tie you remember: 2002 and the famous Bud Selig shrug. The other occurred on July 31, 1961 at Fenway Park in Boston when the game was called at 1–1 after nine innings due to rain.
Streaks have been common. The American League won the first three All-Star Games. The NL won eight straight times, from 1963 through 1970. It won 11 in a row from 1972 through 1982. The American League is 16-3-1 in the last 20 Midsummer Classics.
If the Junior Circuit wins again tonight it’ll be 43-43-2. After which we will cancel the All-Star Game forever, give everyone participation trophies and call it a day.
Or not. No one ever asks me.
Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.
Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.
J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.
This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.