Happy All-Star Game, Mets Fans!
Tonight, Major League Baseball’s biggest stars and a bunch of guys from the San Francisco Giants gather in Kansas City for the 83rd MLB All-Star Game. First pitch is scheduled for some time around 8:15 p.m. and the game can be seen on your local FOX affiliate. Join the conversation on Twitter by following @dailystache or yours truly, @DevOnSports.
It’s of particular note that the National League has won the last two All-Star Games after losing 12-of-13 prior to that — the other one being the abominable tie at Miller Park in 2002. Subsequently, the NL has won the last two World Series with home field advantage. Since the game started to “count” in 2003, the league that won home field in the All-Star Game has gone on to win the World Series 6-of-9 times. Take that for what it’s worth.
The Mets will be pretty well represented in the game this year, With R.A. Dickey and David Wright representing the team. Both guys should be starters, but we’ll take them as reserves. It’s the ninth straight year that the Mets have had at least two All Stars, but the first time since 2008 that they haven’t had at least one starter.
Matt Cain gets the start for the NL All-Stars over Dickey, because Buster Posey is apparently terrified of the knuckleball. Dickey hinted early Tuesday that he may pitch the fifth inning, entering the game with Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz. Imagine that, a Phillie is more willing to catch a Met than a SF Giant. Unreal. It’s likely David Wright will also be entering around the fifth inning, maybe sooner. I guess it depends when Sandoval runs out of breath.
The official starting lineups are as follows:
Gonzalez – Cabrera – Braun – Votto – Beltran – Posey – Sandoval – Uggla – Furcal Pitcher: Cain
Stache Sample Size: Through the first half of the 2012 season, David Wright had a batting average 44 points higher than Pablo Sandoval, an on-base percentage 79 points higher than Pablo Sandoval and a slugging percentage 63 points higher than Pablo Sandoval.
Jeter – Cano – Hamilton – Bautista – Fielder – Beltre – Ortiz – Napoli – Graderson Pitcher: Verlander
Stache Sample Size: Curtis Granderson has 23 home runs this season, just five of them have gone more than 400 feet. Nice ballpark, you’ve got there. Otherwise, he’s hitting .248 with a .352 on-base percentage. All-Star Starter!
NL: Matt Cain (9-3, 2.62 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 118 K) – All hate for the Giants and their ballot box stuffing aside, Cain is one Giant who absolutely deserves to be in Kansas City. Whether he deserves to start the game over our guy Dickey is debatable, but he’s certainly earned the right. Cain is having an outstanding season punctuated by a perfect game on June 13. He’s finally emerged from Tim Lincecum’s shadow in San Francisco and is clearly one of the NL’s best hurlers.
AL: Justin Verlander (9-5, 2.58 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 128 K) – Arguably the best starter in the game, Justin Verlander makes his first All-Star start. Verlander throws hard and can do some from the first to the ninth. He’ll probably only get two innings tonight, expect him to let it all hang out in those two frames. Maybe David Wright should consider himself lucky he’s not starting.
Prediction: Around the fifth inning, Terry Collins clubs Tony LaRussa in the head, takes over as manager and puts our boys in the game to win it for the NL!
Stache Keys to the Game:
- Do the Wright Thing – Wright puts a five-game All-Star hitting streak on the line tonight if/when he comes to the plate. For his career, DW is hitting .462 (6-for-13) with a . 500 OBP, a homer and a couple runs scored in five All-Star games. LaRussa should deploy him wisely.
- Gettin Dickey With It– As mentioned earlier, Dickey will reportedly pitch the fifth inning once Carlos Ruiz enters the game. I’d love for LaRussa to slot Strasburg right before him. Imagine hitters going from that fastball to the knuckleball. They’d be clueless.
- Bring Us Home Field – I want to see World Series Game 1 at Citi Field. Get it done, National League!
This Date in Mets History:
On this date in 1984, the Mets sent four players — Keith Hernandez, Daryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden and Jesse Orosco to San Francisco for the All-Star Game. Daryl had a hit and Doc pitched two innings, including a 1-2-3 fifth that saw him strikeout Lance Parrish, Chet Lemon and Alvin Davis. But the hero was future Met Gary Carter, who launched a solo homer in the second that ended up the game-winning RBI in a 3-1 NL win.
Twenty-three years later in 2007, the Mets started three guys — Carlos Beltran, David Wright and Jose Reyes. Reyes had the best game with three hits in four at-bats including a double, a stolen base and a run scored. Beltran tripled for his only hit and scored a run while David Wright had a hit. But Billy Wagner put all the hard work by his teammates when he allowed a two-run homer to Victor Martinez in the eighth. The homer made it 5-2 AL and they went on to win 5-4.