Jul 14, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; National League pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) of the Pittsburg Pirates throws against the American League during the third inning of the 2015 MLB All Star Game at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
I was hoping that the National League would pull off a victory last night, so my Pittsburgh Pirates would have home field in the World Series against the Kansas City Royals.
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As I watched the AL All Stars knock off the NL 6 to 3, I then envisioned Pittsburgh winning a World Series in Kansas City. I am not sure if an All Star Game should decide an advantage in the finals, but that is worth another discussion.
You never know what the future holds, but it is certainly a possibility, as the Pirates and Royals, two of the past MLB bottom feeders, are now becoming powerhouses. There is nothing wrong with dreaming, and there certainly is much baseball left to be played, but can you tell who I want to see in the World Series?
Typically used to seeing only one or two Pittsburgh Pirates in the All Star Game, we had the pleasure of seeing four last night. Andrew McCutchen got the start in center field, due to the injuries to Giancarlo Stanton and Matt Holliday, and he led off for the NL. Earlier this season, Pete Rose called McCutchen his favorite player and the best player in the National League, as he gave him advice on getting out of his hitting slump.
In the ballpark of Pete Rose’s Cincinnati Reds, McCutchen hammered a pitch from Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays. The blast went deep into left field to make it a 3-2 deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning.
I thought that Gerrit Cole, a 13-game winner, should have gotten the nod to start the All Star Game, but he came in to relieve Zach Geinke in the third inning, and he did not disappoint. Cole threw 9 strikes on 18 pitches, and he struck out All Star MVP Mike Trout. He literally made the star look silly and did not give up any hits in his one inning. The announcers and fans took notice, as you could feel the sense of awe.
Reliever Mark Melancon, making his second career All Star appearance, gave up a solo homerun to Brian Dozier in the eighth inning, and Pirates favorite AJ Burnett did not get into the game, despite making his first career All Star appearance in what may be his final season.
Despite the NL loss to the AL, Pittsburgh made its mark on the 2015 All Star Game, and the Pirates are not going away. St. Louis found out that defending the NL Central crown will not be easy, despite their best start since 1944.
The second half of the season will surely be quite a wild ride, and I think stars like McCutchen, Cole, Burnett, and Melancon can guide the Pirates into uncharted territory. The Pittsburgh/ St. Louis rivalry is sure to heat up. Which team will make a big splash at the trade deadline later this month?