Baseball Chatter

Jose ReyesSAN FRANCISCO -- It's another crushing loss for the Senior Circuit and another year of answering questions as to why the American League is better. But hey, there's always the World Series, and last time I checked the NL is still the reigning champ in that event.


1. Jose Reyes, shortstop, 3-4, 1 R, SB
His bid for MVP honors was overtaken by Ichiro's explosion.
Grade: A

2. Barry Bonds, left field, 0-2
Thanks for playing, Barry.
Grade: D

3. Carlos Beltran, center field, 1-3, 3B, 1 R
His leadoff triple in the sixth got the NL back into the game.
Grade: B

4. Ken Griffey Jr., right field, 1-2, 2 RBIs
The kid's legs must be feeling better because he's been displaying a vintage throwing arm this season. A-Rod must not have gotten the scouting report, becuase he was gunned down at the plate by Griffey to end the fourth inning.
Grade: A

5. David Wright, third base, 1-3
He made a nice play diving to his left to rob A-Rod of a hit and end the first inning.
Grade: B

6. Prince Fielder, 0-1, BB
He got tagged with the error on Chase Utley's poor throw in the first inning. Not a memorable night for the Prince, but he'll have many more chances to shine in the Classic.
Grade: C

7. Russell Martin, catcher, 0-3
See above. He'll get many more All-Star nights for sure.
Grade: C

8. Chase Utley, second base, 0-2
Why did he rush that throw in the first inning with Big Papi barely running?
Grade: C-


Alfonso Soriano: With two outs in the ninth, he worked the count on AL closer J.J. Putz to 3-1 and then blasted a two-run home run to the opposite field. If it had gone just a little further we would have finally gotten the splashdown hit we've been waiting for.
Grade: A+


Jake Peavy, 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Peavy's stuff scintillated, with his fastball riding at an easy 95 mph. He pitched out of trouble after Ortiz reached on an error, getting Alex Rodriguez to ground out.
Grade: A

Brad Penny, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Penny might have learned a lesson from last year's All-Star Game, when he put on a radar gun fireworks display by hitting triple digits but then struggled in the second half of the season. This time Penny pitched to contact, getting Vlad out on a broken-bat grounder, inducing a flyout by Magglio Ordonez and a grounder to short by Pudge Rodriguez, all while topping out at 95 mph. He needed only seven pitches to get through the inning.
Grade: A+

Ben Sheets, 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Brewers fans are just glad he didn't get hurt.
Grade: B

Cole Hamels, 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
At some point during this young lefty's career, the NL will win an All-Star Game. Maybe.
Grade: B

Chris Young, Loss, 1 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
The leadoff walk to Brian Roberts came back to haunt as Ichiro went inside-the-park on him.
Grade: C-

Francisco Cordero, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
He allowed only one home run all season before Carl Crawford took him deep in the sixth.
Grade: C

Takashi Saito, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
He's the best-kept secret this side of Los Angeles.
Grade: A

Billy Wagner, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
The two-run blast he allowed to Victor Martinez proved to be the game-deciding runs.
Grade: C-

Trevor Hoffman, 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
If this scoreless inning had come in last year's All-Star Game, the NL would have ended its losing streak by now.
Grade: A-



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