If you’re a National league fan, as I am, you’re quite pleased with the result of last night’s 8-0 victory by the senior circuit.
If you’re a JML fan, as I am, you’re also shepping nachas over Ryan Braun‘s performance. With Matt Kemp unable to play because of an injury, Braun was given the starting nod in left field and the third slot in the batting order. He came through immediately in his first at bat, lacing a double over the head of Jose Bautista (who may have gotten a late jump because of the sun) to drive in the first NL run (about 0:42 on the video in the above link). He subsequently scored in a five-run first inning off Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
In the second inning, Bautista made a great grab of a Braun fly ball, preventing the 2011 MVP from getting three hits on the night (1:37 on the video), as he hit another opposite field fly in the fourth inning that landed just fair and rattled around for a triple. I could swear he was smiling and chatting (!) as he rounded second, whether it was to the opposition of himself, I couldn’t tell.
In his three prior All-Star appearances ( he did not play in the 2011 contest), Braun had been 0-7 with three strikeouts.
He also made a sparkling catch in left field off former teammate prince Fielder. His replacement, the highly-touted Washington Nationals 19-year-old rookie Bryan Harper, wasn’t so smooth, losing a pop fly in the blue sky of Kansas City (about 2:35 in the video. BTW, did FOX have to play that song at every commercial break? Don’t get me started on them now), but giving absolutely no indication of his situation.
Ian Kinsler came into the game as a pinch hitter in bottom of the fifth with the bases loaded, two outs, and the AL trailing, 8-0. He had the opportunity to stir up the crowd with a well-timed hit, but he flied out to left field to end the threat. He remained in the game at second and struck out against the Atlanta Braves’ Craig Kimbrel in the bottom of the eighth.
I may be reading into it, but Kinsler was also involved in a play where the Braves’ Chipper Jones, playing in perhaps his last ASG, grounded a ball to second. It doesn’t seem like Kinsler gave it maximum effort, but I want to believe he did it on purpose to give Jones a bit of glory.
More video from MLB.com:
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