Wednesday, July 16, 2008

AL Wins All Star Game and Home Field Again

The American League won the annual mid-season classic for the 11th time in the last 12 years (2002 ended in a tie), with a 4-3, 15-inning baseball-fest at Yankee Stadium. The "House the Ruth Built" was the perfect backdrop for yet another NL collapse, and the last time the stadium - built in 1923 - will host an All Star game as it will be torn down following the 2008 season.
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For the record, the AL and NL have split four All Star games at Yankee Stadium, with the American League winning in 1939 and 2008, and the Nationals taking the prize in 1960 and 1977. The win gives the AL pennant winner home field advantage in this season's World Series, which has proven to be a nice edge of late. American League clubs have won eight of the last ten fall classics. The game itself highlighted some very solid pitching and timely hitting, especially Michael Young's game-winning sac fly and J. D. Drew's 2-run homer in the 7th inning which erased a 2-0 NL lead. The Nationals had held the AL scoreless through the first six innings, but, as has been the case so often, they could not hold them down in the final critical innings. The teams traded runs in the 8th and then treated the assembled throng and millions of TV viewers to 6 1/2 shutout innings. It was a tough night for Florida Marlins players in the field. Second baseman Dan Uggla made three errors, while shortstop Hanley Ramirez booted a ball in the 4th inning. None of the Florida errors resulted in unearned runs. J. D. Drew took home the MVP Award, going 2-for-4 with two RBI and the only Al home run. Matt Holliday hit a solo homer for the Nationals, who stole just one base while the AL swiped six. Tomorrow: NL 2nd-half Outlook

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