Category: Sports Published on Wednesday, 17 July 2013 10:14 Written by Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports
Then again, so was every other pitcher Tuesday night, reminding everyone why the Home Run Derby is such a sensation.
It's the only time fans get to see anyone actually hit. The NL managed four baserunners the entire night, and they barely averted tying the All-Star record of fewest hits in a game.
"Now they get to see what we have to deal with,'' Detroit Tigers All-Star outfielder Torii Hunter said. "We've got to deal with that pitching all of the time.''
The AL's three runs will hardly be preserved on any highlight reel, but it was their biggest offensive output in four years, scoring just one run in the previous 23 innings.
The scary part for those baseball purists who like to see an occasional run, there's a good chance these same dominant pitchers will be around for quite a while. New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey, 24, was the youngest to start and All-Star Game since Dwight Gooden in 1988, and seven All-Star pitchers were under 25.
"These guys are here for a reason,'' Minnesota Twins All-Star catcher Joe Mauer said. "It was just fun catching them. I just kept shaking numbers down there, and they kept saying yes.''
The AL pitching staff was so dominant that until Rivera's entrance in the eighth inning, the only real drama in this game occurred in the first inning when Mets starter Matt Harvey drilled Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano in the right leg. He was forced out of the game with a bruised quadriceps.
American League pitcher Mariano Rivera (42) of the New York Yankees waves to the crowd as he takes the mound in the 8th inning in the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field. American League pitcher Mariano Rivera (42) of the New York Yankees waves to the crowd as he takes the mound in the 8th inning in the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field.
It immediately launched a conspiracy theory on social media. Let's see, Harvey happens to be a Scott Boras client. Cano left Boras for Jay-Z. So, retribution?
Uh, no. Harvey apologized. And Cano accepted.
"Obviously, that was the last thing I wanted to do,'' Harvey said, "go out there and possibly injure somebody. Obviously, I apologized and made sure that he was ok. It definitely was not intentional.''
Said Cano: "I know he doesn't want to hurt anybody. It's just part of the game. Luckily it hit the quad. If it had been something where I couldn't walk, then I would have been worried. Thankfully I was able to walk.''
And, yes, throbbing leg and all, Cano still hung around to the end of the game, wanting to see his teammate one last time, old No. 42.
"For us, to see him out there,'' AL starting pitcher Max Scherzer said, "we all had chills down our back. We got to watch the greatest closer of all time pitching his last All-Star Game.
"You know you're never going to see it again.''
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