Monday, July 12, 2010

My All-star game, Part 3

If you missed Part-2 of my version of the MLB All-star game, click here. Here is Part 3.

Before getting in to tonight’s 2010 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby, I will be wrapping my inaugural version the MLB All-Star game and its ‘What-if?’ scenario, by concluding with the third and final portion of my fantasy preview. For the rules and regulations involved in selecting the teams please refer to part one of the series. Below are the representatives for both the American League and the National League. Trades taking place in the last couple of days are purposely not accounted for.

National League Team Representatives:
Albert Puljos, David Wright, Hanley Ramirez, Andre Either, Andrew McCutchen, Alfonso Soriano, Ubaldo Jimenez, Tim Lincecum, Roy Oswalt, Tim Hudson, Ryan Howard, Joey Votto, Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Upton, and Steven Strausburg.

American League Team Representatives:
Joe Mauer, Miguel Cabrera, Dustin Pedroia, Evan Longoria, Nick Markakis, Vernon Wells, Josh Hamilton, Cliff Lee, Jered Weaver, Fausto Carmona, Zach Greinke, Mariano Rivera, Alexis Rios and Ryan Sweeney.

Starting with the American League, out of the 14 positions available, it was nice to see that 10 of the players chosen as the best player for their team were selected to participate on the actual All-Star team. I am at an absolute loss why Oakland Athletic phenom, Ryan Sweeney, did not make the cut. Have you seen what he has been doing to the AL West this season? The biggest snub of the year hands down. The National League fared just a well as the American League, by garnishing 10 actual, real-life All-Stars.

Instead of just playing one game to determine home park advantage in the World Series, these teams will be facing off against one another in a 5-game series, with each game being played in the stadiums of the last five All-Star games which are this year’s Angel Stadium, 2009’s Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals), 2008’s Yankee Stadium, 2007’s AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants), and 2006’s PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates). The starting lineups are as follows along with the Tuesday’s real lineups on the right.

American League:
Dustin Pedroia 2B                              Ichiro CF
Nick Markakis SS                               Derek Jeter SS
Josh Hamilton LF                               Miguel Cabrera 1B
Miguel Cabrera 1B                             Josh Hamilton LF
Evan Longoria 3B                               Vladimir Guerrero DH
Vernon Wells DH                                 Evan Longoria 3B
Joe Mauer C                                     Joe Mauer C
Alexis Rios CF                                   Robinson Cano 2B
Ryan Sweeney RF                               Carl Crawford RF
Cliff Lee SP                                        David Price SP

National League:
Andre Ethier RF                                 Hanley Ramirez SS
Hanley Ramirez SS                             Martin Prado 2B
Albert Puljos 1B                                 Albert Puljos 1B
Ryan Howard DH                                 Ryan Howard DH
David Wright 3B                                 David Wright 3B
Adrian Gonzalez 2B                             Ryan Braun LF
Joey Votto C                                       Andre Ethier CF
Alfonso Soriano LF                             Corey Hart RF
Andrew McCutchen CF                         Yadier Molina C
Ubaldo Jimenez SP                              Ubaldo Jimenez SP

GAME ONE, Angel Stadium:


Jimenez goes 7 innings strong, giving up just 4 hits and no runs before walking Miguel Cabrera with no outs in the 8th inning. The National League is ahead 2-0 on a RBI single from Adrian Gonzalez off starting pitcher Cliff Lee in the 5th and then a solo shot from Andre Ethier the following inning. The National League brings in setup man Tim Lincecum who gets by cleanly before turning over the ball to closer Steven Strausburg who strikes out the side to end the ballgame.

GAME TWO, Busch Stadium:
NL ahead 1-0

Jered Weaver puts in a solid 6 innings, striking out 8 and allowing two runs. His efforts are supported by a 5-run third inning with Miguel Cabrera’s 3 run shot, back to back doubles from Dustin Pedroia and Evan Longoria and an RBI single from Nick Markakis send starting pitch Roy Oswalt to the dugout. Zach Greinke takes over in the 7th allowing just two hits in 2 2/3 innings before handing the ball to Mariano Rivera who strikes out one, pops out Andrew McCutchen and causes Alfonso Soriano to hit in to a game ending ground ball to Pedroia at second.

GAME THREE, Yankee Stadium:

Series tied 1-1

In a pitcher’s duel between starters Tim Lincecum and Fausto Carmona, both take their performances scoreless in to the middle of 8th inning when Carmona gives up back to back singles to Andre Ethier and Hanley Ramirez with only one out. Greinke is brought in to face Albert Puljos who nearly goes yard before being robbed by Ryan Sweeney… SIKE!... that would never happen. Puljos flys deep to the warning track before Josh Hamilton safely brings the fly ball into his glove. Howard hits in to a fielder’s choice to end the inning. Lincecum puts up another scoreless inning striking out two more for a total 11 K’s and Greinke safely completes the bottom of the 9th, sending the game in to extra innings. In the top of the 10th Prince Fielder pinch hits for Andrew McCutchen and singles up the middle. Pinch runner Justin Upton is brought in a steals second base on a close throw by Joe Mauer. The go ahead run is now on second with nobody out. Ethier safely lays down the sac bunt to put Upton on third. One out. Ramirez hits a shallow pop fly holding Upton at third. Puljos steps to the plate with two out connects on a hanging curve by Greinke that goes 468 feet. National League up 2-0. In the bottom of the 10th closer Steven Strausburg loses control and beans Pedroia. Markakis works a full count and fouls off 6 pitches before getting a close ball four walk. On a first pitch, 102 MPH fastball, Josh Hamilton sends the ball to another planet. American League wins 3-2.

GAME FOUR, AT&T Park:

AL ahead 2-1

Starter Ubaldo Jimenez again, goes seven strong, allowing just a solo shot from Vernon Wells in the second inning. On the other side of the mound Cliff Lee has struck out 8 and walked 3 batters, but has gotten lucky from two inning ending double plays. Jered Weaver comes in at the start of the 8th and gives up a double to Albert Puljos who is driven in on a single by Ryan Howard. The National League brings in Tim Hudson and by some act of heaven, Ryan Sweeney gets a bloop single. His only hit on the series. Both Pedroia and Markakis strikeout looking before Ryan Sweeney advances to third on a beautiful hit and run. Hamilton at first, Sweeney at third. Bottom of the 9th. Miguel Cabrera at the plate and first pitch Hamilton steals without any contest from Joey Votto. Hudson falls behind 3-1 and gives up the game ending single.

American League wins series 3-1. Series MVP Josh Hamilton.

So there you have it. Am I little American League biased. Possibly, but in truth I really think they AL would have prevailed even if the series had gone to a game five. So maybe I’m just lazy and I am just TOO siked for tonight’s Home Run Derby.

Tonight’s predicted winner:
Matt Holliday. That guy has the purest swing. He beats Vernon Wells in the finals.

Tomorrows predicted winner:
National League. Their team is just too deep this year. Final score 7-5.

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