The way I see it, you have a choice: you can watch the All-Star Game and make wisecracks to yourself tonight, or you can watch the All-Star Game and make wisecracks to a group of like-minded people. No contest, really, which is why you should show up here tonight for HardballTalk’s All-Star Game Live Chat.
Proceedings will get rolling around the time player introductions begin. D.J. Short will be emceeing things, so it will be up to him to decide if you have to stop chatting during the Steinbrenner moment of silence. D.J. is a Mets fan, though, so he may be pretty lax about it. In no case will anyone make you be quiet while Joe Buck gropes for gravitas while talking about Big Stein. Because really, no one wants to hear that.
So come on down tonight and get your chat on. Broadcast starts at 8PM. Awkward remembrances start at 8:01, interminable player introductions around 8:10, figure on a bad National Anthem at 8:23 and, after a lot of commercials people will be making fun of for the next week, the game is supposed to start at 8:30. I figure 8:42, but I suppose we can all start betting on that once the chat goes live.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.