In case you missed it, the National League All-Stars pummeled their American League counterparts 8-0 last night in the Midsummer Classic at Kauffman Stadium. It wasn’t a very big night for the Indians, but nonetheless there were a few Tribe-related highlights.
First and foremost was Asdrubal Cabrera, who made the team as a backup. He entered the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, replacing questionably chosen fan pick Derek Jeter. With runners at second and third and two outs, he worked a five-pitch walk off of reigning NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw to load the bases. He was left stranded when Ian Kinsler flew out to end the inning.
Cabrera got another chance in the bottom of the eighth, when he led off the inning against Braves reliever Craig Kimbrel and struck out looking. Save for fielding a routine grounder off the bat of Bryan LaHair in the top of the ninth, that was all we saw from Droobs.
But while Cabrera’s lack of action was a little disappointing, it could have been worse. Like it was for Tribe closer Chris Perez, who didn’t get into the game at all. The camera caught him warming up in the bullpen in the second inning, but AL manager Ron Washington never actually put him in the game.
The outcome of the game could have implications for the Indians even though they weren’t very involved in it. The National League won home-field advantage for the World Series, which probably won’t matter to the Tribe (I absolutely think this team can make it to October, but even if that were a sure thing they’d have at best 1 in 4 odds of winning the pennant) but it might. Ridiculous though it is to play an exhibition game for real stakes, that’s the way it is.
Finally, I can’t deny enjoying some schadenfreude from Justin Verlander‘s rough outing. Turns out the reigning AL MVP and Cy Young is human after all, as he gave up five runs (all earned) on four hits and two walks in the first inning. It seems likely that the Indians will find themselves going up against Verlander in a big game or two down the stretch, so it’s good to know that he is in fact beatable.