2013 Reds / All-Star Game / Game Thread

Game Thread: All-Star Game Edition

Unless you are a fan of the Astros, Marlins, Cubs, Brewers, and White Sox, 2013_MLB_All-Star_Game_Logotonight is the night you state that your team just gained home field advantage for the World Series. Honestly, I could probably add about 5 more teams to that list but do not want to look like a fool at season’s end if one of those teams (Blue Jays, Twins, Angels, Padres) make some sort of crazy second-half run and make the post-season.

Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto will be starting the game off for the National League club and will both get an at-bat in the first inning with Phillips batting leadoff and Votto batting in the 3-slot. I’ll reserve any lineup jabs and Dusty Baker jokes for you guys in the comments portion of the thread. It is likely we will see Chapman come in late in the game to face at least a batter. The Reds are well represented tonight.

If you haven’t already, be sure to vote in our All-Star game poll on the side and tell us how much of the game you will watch. As I stated yesterday, my kids love this stuff and I’ll be watching every minute I can with them tonight. So grab your family, gather around the television, and cheer on the Reds and National League to Go! Yes, we need the National League to go so the Reds can have home field advantage in this year’s World Series! Even if that does mean pulling for the Pirates, Cardinals, Cubs, and Brewers. At least for one night.

44 thoughts on “Game Thread: All-Star Game Edition

  1. I was asked by a couple of commenters to repost this. Go Reds (in the ASG!)

    So, here’s my All Star Game fantasy:

    1) Aroldis Chapman has a terrible time in New York. The people are rude, the dry cleaner ruins his favorite shirt, and the New York Post prints an unflattering picture of him along with speculation about him having an STD under the headline “CLAP-MAN?”. Based on all of this, Chapman decides he’ll never play in NY no matter how much money they pay him, and that he probably won’t play in any big city.

    2) Phillips patiently works a walk. Beltran strikes out on three pitches. Joey gets down 0-2, fouls off a couple of pitches, takes a ball, and then blasts the longest HR ever hit in CitiField. Strangely, it’s to straight right field.

    3) The AL scores a run on the following sequence: strike out, but runner reaches first on a PB by Molina. Batter advances to second when a snap throw down to first by Molina goes 10 feet above Joey’s head. (Phillips keeps runner from advancing to 3rd by racing over and somehow cutting the ball off before it reaches RF.) Runner does advance to 3rd when Molina pounces on a swinging bunt and unwisely tries to cut down the lead runner but sails a ball over Wright’s head. (Phillips keeps runner from scoring by racing over and somehow cutting the ball off before it reaches LF.). Run then scores on a PB by Molina. 2-1 NL (Molina, confidence crushed, goes .220/.220/.305 for St. Louis in the second half, and team ERA balloons to 5.45)

    4) It stays 2-1 NL until the 8th, when with 2 outs and a man on 3rd Bruce Bochy brings in Chapman for a 4 out Save. He proceeds to get all 4 outs, on 4 pitches, all of them change ups that induce weak grounders. New York fans, inexplicably, boo and hurl insults at Chapman’s parents in the stands. Police report the crowd taunting the Chapmans included people wearing Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, Giants, Cubs, Nationals, Phillies, Mets, Yankees, and Rangers caps. Chapman announces he’ll never play for any of those teams.

    5) After the game, Hank Aaron is quoted as saying “bringing in Chapman with 4 outs to go was brilliant. Just brilliant. I’d prefer to see him starting, but if he’s going to close there’s no reason he shouldn’t come in in the 8th.”

    6) Chapman, in fluent English, tells the reporters gathered around his locker that he prefers closing. But there’s no reason the closer can’t come in with two outs in the 8th. “Or even earlier. Like the top of the 1st,” he said with a sly smile.

  2. I’d love it if one of the TV analysts would point out that two all-star shortstops are hitting 7th and 9th.

    • Or they could point out that the NL’s leadoff man has (I think) the lowest OBP of the entire starting lineup…

      I’d love it if one of the TV analysts would point out that two all-star shortstops are hitting 7th and 9th.

      • Or they could point out that the NL’s leadoff man has (I think) the lowest OBP of the entire starting lineup…

        Or they could point out that he doesn’t play center and isn’t one of the fastest guys on the team.

  3. Yeah, Bochy’s lineup left me scatching my head after I got over the impressive list of players in the starting lineups. Maybe more along the lines of:

    3B Wright
    1B Votto
    DH Cuddyer
    LF CarGo
    RF Beltran
    SS Tulo
    CF Harper
    C Molina
    2B Phillips

    I would particularly want Molina and Phillips batting back-to-back.

  4. I assume some of the lineup choices have something to do with the manager’s intentions for subbing mid-game, but I’m not sure how much of a factor that is. I’m otherwise at a loss to explain why BP would be leading off, as he isn’t especially good at reaching base and doesn’t steal bases. His career numbers as a leadoff hitter are pretty terrible if you exclude 2011. Perhaps the lesson here is that it IS possible to win a world series even if your lineup makes no sense.

  5. MLB managers must know more about baseball than me or most people commenting on this website, right? But then why do they do what they do!? Dusty is one of the worst, if not THE worst, but there are plenty of other ones that leave me puzzled with their decisions as well.

    I think the next great offensive era of baseball will be the next generation of managers that all fully embrace sabermetrics. Microsoft Excel will be the next Performance Enhancing unDrug.

    • @bohdi: I don’t think there’s any evidence at all to support the theory that baseball managers understand baseball strategy better than those of us who pay close attention to the game but have never managed. Baker has different strategies than other experienced managers, and they can’t all be right. Lots of managers have lots of different philosophies about lots of things, and they can’t all be right. I think a high percentage of managers (and coaches in other sports as well) aren’t especially logical and/or don’t have a very good understanding of probability and/or aren’t willing to learn anything beyond whatever theories and philosophies (often based solely on anecdotal evidence) they’ve picked up along the way.

      • @Baseclogger: Well I suppose the “evidence” is that owners and GMs around the league pay them millions of dollars to mangage baseball teams so they must assume they are more qualified.

        • @bohdi: Yes, but being “qualified” doesn’t necessarily mean they have the best understanding of strategy. And need I remind you that a lot of GMs end up firing the very same managers they’ve hired? Tony Perez went from “most qualified” to “unqualified” in a matter of 44 games.

      • @Baseclogger: There likely is no evidence because no definitive studies on this arcane subject have been done. Nor could such studies be done: one cannot prove what would have happened if the batting order were different.

  6. My fantasy would have been for Bochy to have Chapman start for the NL as a dig toward how stupid Reds management is for wasting him as a closer.

    • @Redgoggles: Actually, I see that too. Of course Davis would take a walk every now and then and was perhaps the best player in the game in his prime. Jones has a lot of Eric Davis in him in my opinion though.

  7. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think Votto is 0-life in the All Star game…

  8. Nice coverage tonight of Phillips’ exchange with the soldier and the trials of Jason Grilling.

  9. Is it the 9th already? What happened to the 7th and 8th? Must have fallen asleep…

  10. Reds signed INF Mike Costanzo to a minor league contract; assigned him to Double-A Pensacola.
    Costanzo was with the Reds from 2010-12 and returns after a brief tour of duty at Triple-A with the Nationals. He’s batted just .216/.303/.390 in the minors this year, though he does have 10 homers.

    Remember him? Boy, the Reds sure can’t find any decent players to sign.

  11. I’m not a Yankees fan, but that was cool to see Rivera get the standing ovation from the entire stadium and players. I imagine we’ll be seeing his Hall of Fame induction here in the next few years.

    • @TraviXDM: I don’t like the Yankees but there are guys on that team that I do like, very, very much. Rivera is one of them. He’s a great player and by all accounts a heck of a guy.

      • @LWBlogger: Yeah, he’s one of the classiest guys in baseball and definitely a hard worker and testament to what dedication can do for the soul.

        Wonder if he’ll consider coming back as a pitching coach for a team? Even if it is for the Yankees, the man deserved everything he received last night. The ovation, the MVP, the achievement award and just being able to address the crowd. Congrats to the man 🙂

        Now, go Reds! (They won the world series on my Road to the Show game last night. Perhaps a glimpse of the future? :D)

  12. I enjoyed the tribute to Rivera but shouldn’t the AS MVP be based on who did the most for his team in the game ? Chris Sale was more deserving than Rivera.

    • @pinson343: Yes, but baseball is a game that puts a high value on tradition and, consequently, sentiment. Rivera just got a very well-deserved lifetime achievement award in a game which is, except for the ill-conceived home-field advantage business, nothing more than a fun exhibition.

  13. Wish Votto would have snagged that line drive, would have been a great play!

  14. Pssst. Hey, Dusty. The best closer to ever play the game went in during the (gasp)…. 8th inning!!!!!! Are you ok? Dusty, are you ok? Talk to me buddy. Stay with us. Don’t go to the light.

  15. At least 2 of 3 this weekend and 6 of 10 on the west coast road trip will keep the Reds in contention.

    • @Redsfanx: A .500 road-trip, especially on the west coast wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. 2 of 3 against the Pirates isn’t a cake-walk but it would close the gap by a game. Some of my relatives are in from CA and are going on Friday. I am going with some relatives in from FL (my sister and brother-in-law) on Sunday. Maybe they can take those games? Of course my birthday is Saturday so it would be nice if they could win that one too. Sweep then? Yeah, nothing like a sweep to close the gap by three games. Probably a bit much to hope for against a team that’s been pretty darn good this year.

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