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All Star Game – AL Wins 7-6 behind Blalock

What a game! After all the hype about “This time it counts” (my wife and I were almost to the point of making a drinking game out of the advertisements for that), and all the shtick about not playing all the players, what do we get? The absolute opposite of last year’s All-Star Game. We got a wonderful game! Forget that Hank Blalock was the hero – and forget any specific single thing – it was just a great game to watch!
We got a bit of everything. Throughout the first four innings or so, we got great pitching on both sides. Loiaza & Schmidt were great in their starting roles, and the pitchers that followed also did great. Then the AL gave up 5 runs in the 5th inning to put the NL up 5-1. We picked up two more runs when Garret Anderson homered to score Arod to make it 5-3. However, Andruw Jones homered to make it 6-3, and you kind of got the feeling that it was over – especially when Dusty Baker changed every position on the field all at once – made for an interesting moment scoring the game at home. :)
Anyway, Jason Giambi came in in the 7th and just absolutely tatooed a home run into right field, to bring us back to within two. However, that this point, the NL was into their trio of closers (Wagner, Gagne, Smoltz), so I figured that was about it. However, the AL had some other ideas. IN the bottom of the 8th, Vernon Wells doubled in Melvin Mora (who was pinch running for MVP Garret Anderson, who had just doubled), and then Hank Blalock came in against Eric Gagne, who had not blown a save all season for the Dodgers. He did now – Blalock smacked a rather no doubter home run into right to give the AL the lead, and the win. I actually stood up in the living room with my hands in the air going “Yes!”. I even teared up a bit at this moment. At that moment, I was ready to say Blalock should get MVP. Anderson deserved it, but the Ranger fan in me wanted it to go to Blalock. Watching Arod in the shots shown of him after Blalock’s home run, it seemed that Arod was more excited than Hank was! The Rangers open on the road after the All-Star break, but I have a ticket to the next home game they play after the All-Star Break. I bet Hank Blalock gets a massive ovation when he’s announced and comes to bat! :)
Overall, a wonderful game. We got great pitching early – we got a lot of home runs, and some nice defense in places, too. One of the better All Star games (as baseball games go, and not the ceremonies around it) in recent memory – a pleasure to watch.
Also, what was with that horrid person singing the national anthem? She wore a shirt that looked three sizes too small for her, and it really made her look awful. Thank god for TiVo, so I could skip it.
Hank Blalock made several web headlines right after the game was over – in most cases overshadowing game MVP Garret Anderson. Here are some screen captures I took: