AL takes All-Star game 5-2 with Shohei Ohtani as winning pitcher
Angels star Shohei Ohtani talks about competing in the home run derby, playing in the MLB All-Star game and seeing his legions of fans.
DENVER — The American League won the All-Star game 5-2 over the National League, with Shohei Ohtani earning credit as the winning pitcher thanks to the AL taking the lead immediately after his scoreless first inning.
Ohtani went 0-for-2 at the plate in the game, but called the entire week the “most memorable” moment of his MLB career so far.
“It was definitely more fun than nervous,” he said through his interpreter. “I definitely want to be back in the All-Star game.”
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was the All-Star game MVP after going 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI.
Here are how the rest of the Angels and Dodgers All-Stars did:
-Jared Walsh went 0-for-2, but made a diving catch in left field in the eighth inning to end a bases-loaded threat.
-Max Muncy went 0-for-2 as the NL’s starting designated hitter.
-Justin Turner went 0-for-2 after entering as a substitute in center field.
-Justin Turner went 1-for-2 after entering the game as Muncy’s replacement at designated hitter.
-Walker Buehler did not pitch.
Jared Walsh makes sliding catch in left field to help AL stay in front
DENVER — Jared Walsh has never played an inning of left field in his MLB career.
But after entering the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning, he stayed in the game in left and made a sliding catch in the eighth to end a bases-loaded threat.
With the American League leading 5-2, Kris Bryant hit a two-out line drive Walsh’s way with the bases loaded. Walsh, who has played occasionally in right field this year, came in on the ball and slid feet first, sticking his glove out to his side to snag the ball and retire the side.
Max Muncy finishes All-Star game after two at-bats, AL leads 5-1
DENVER — Max Muncy went 0-for-2 in his start in the All-Star game, as the National League has gotten off to a slow start at the plate with only three hits and one run through five innings.
The AL, meanwhile, added to its lead with two runs in the top of the fifth with RBIs from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Xander Bogaerts, and another run in the top of the sixth on Mike Zunino’s solo blast.
J.T. Realmuto is responsible for the NL’s lone run, with a solo homer in the fifth.
Ohtani grounds out in second at-bat, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hits a home run
DENVER — Shohei Ohtani got a second at-bat after all, but grounded out to first on the first pitch of the at-bat.
That marked the end of Ohtani’s night, after two groundouts and a scoreless inning on the mound.
The next batter, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., homered, a deep drive to left field to give the American League a 2-0 lead.
AL takes lead in second inning, putting Shohei Ohtani in line for the win
DENVER — Shohei Ohtani didn’t get an at-bat during the top of the second — the inning ending with him in the hole — but an RBI single by Marcus Semien gave the American League a 1-0 lead and in the process put Ohtani in line for the win.
In the bottom of the second, Ohtani was replaced on the mound by Lance Lynn, bringing Ohtani’s pitching start to an end. He can, however, remain in the lineup as the designated hitter thanks to a rule tweak MLB made for him for tonight’s game.
Shohei Ohtani retires all three batters he faces in the first inning, hits 100 mph with his fastball
DENVER — Shohei Ohtani pitched a perfect first inning in the All-Star game.
He retired all three batters he faced, Fernando Tatis Jr. flying out before Max Muncy and Nolan Arenado — after another standing ovation from the crowd — both rolled into grounders.
He threw 14 pitches, including a fastball that registered at 100.2 mph. It was his first triple-digit fastball since his first start of the season.
Ohtani opens All-Star game with groundout
DENVER — Shohei Ohtani swung and missed with a mighty hack at the first pitch of the All-Star game, then hit into a hard groundout on the next.
The American League team was retired in order by National League starter Max Scherzer, who almost got hit by a hard line drive from Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Now, Ohtani will take the mound as the American League’s starting pitcher.
All-Star teams introduced; Shohei Ohtani gets big ovation
DENVER — They cheered their own, hometown ovations for Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black and shortstop Trevor Story, and a raucous welcome back to former Rockies star Nolan Arenado.
They booed the Yankees and Dodgers, even jeering when Chris Taylor was introduced.
But otherwise, the pregame introductions for Tuesday’s MLB All-Star game were routine. Except for when one player was announced.
“Leading off,” Fox broadcaster Joe Buck announced over the Coors Field PA system, “the designated hitter, and starting pitcher: Shohei Ohtani!”
Suddenly, as the Angels two-way star flashed across the video board, warming up in the bullpen in preparation for his first All-Star game appearance, the entire place went nuts.
Ohtani will now trot back to the dugout, grab a bat and go to the plate, then put on a glove and take the mound as the American League’s starting pitcher.
Shohei Ohtani provides home run derby dramatics in first-round defeat to Juan Soto
DENVER — It started with one smack of the barrel, sending a high fly ball into the Colorado sky.
Then came another. And another. And another.
After struggling to find a rhythm at the start of Monday’s home run derby, just barely forcing Juan Soto into a tiebreaker in their first-round matchup, Shohei Ohtani suddenly hit his free-swinging, moonshot-belting, superhuman-looking stride.
Crack. A high fly ball over the right field wall.
Pop. A scorching drive that landed in the third tier of the upper deck.
Bang. A towering shot out to the back of the center field bullpens at Coors Field.
In a seven-swing span, Ohtani hit six home runs. He had matched Soto’s score with still about 15 seconds to go. He looked primed to advance in walk-off fashion.
But, it turns out, Ohtani is mortal after all. In the tie-breaking round, he ran out of gas. And in the ensuing swing-off, he topped his first hack into the ground.
Ohtani lost to Soto by a final tally of 31 home runs to 28.
But after an epic battle that left the Angels two-way star resting his hands on his knees, taking deep breaths with a wide smile on his face, he straightened up, embraced his competitor and walked back toward the dugout to a chorus of cheers.
“It’s hard to tell because it was my first time doing it,” Ohtani said through his interpreter (and derby catcher) Ippei Mizuhara, “but it was really fun.”
Lose the All-Star game and lose big? That’s simply a big myth
DENVER — On this day of the All-Star game, before Shohei Ohtani and his supporting cast take the field, let us engage in a bit of mythbusting.
And let us get right to the point: Despite a narrative concocted from one flimsily supported statement and amplified across the country, there is no evidence that the Atlanta area lost $100 million in economic impact when Major League Baseball relocated this year’s game to Denver.
On April 2, Commissioner Rob Manfred said the game would be moved, eight days after Georgia adopted a law that voting rights advocates say makes it harder for people to vote, and disproportionately so in minority communities. The United States Department of Justice since has sued Georgia over the law.
On April 3, the president of the agency that promotes tourism and travel in Cobb County said in a statement that the “estimated lost economic impact” of the relocation would be more than $100 million.
Sean Hannity repeated that figure on Fox News Channel. A conservative business advocacy group cited it in a failed lawsuit against MLB. Republican legislators echoed it in introducing a bill to strip MLB of its antitrust exemption.
“The league’s spineless decision to move the All-Star Game out of Georgia was based on lies told by President Biden and Democrats,” Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) said in a statement. “Now, it’s been estimated that this move will cause a loss of $100 million for the local community.”
When I asked Carter’s office for the source of that estimate, a staffer cited the Cobb County tourism statement. When I left five messages with the Cobb County tourism office, asking for documentation to support the estimate, none of the messages were returned.
The original statement cited one supporting statistic: the cancellation of “8,000-plus MLB contracted hotel room nights.”
Georgia is lovely, but demand for hotel rooms there in July is not similar to demand for hotel rooms in, say, Hawaii in December. MLB would have gotten a nice corporate discount for those rooms and, given the time of year, let’s say the average league rate was $125 per night.
That would come to $1 million.
A uniform decision? It’s a different look and attitude on All-Star jerseys
DENVER — In 1933, in the inaugural All-Star game, the National League players wore gray wool uniform shirts, with seven buttons down the front and the words “National League” spelled out in blue felt letters.
Those uniforms are so historic that one is displayed in the Hall of Fame. In every year since then, players have worn their team jerseys in the All-Star game.
Until Tuesday night, that is. For the first time in 88 years, the National League players will wear National League jerseys. For the first time ever, the American League players will wear American League jerseys.
“I don’t know if I’m necessarily in love with that,” said Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, a two-time All-Star. “To wear a Dodger uniform on the field for an All-Star game, it’s something to be proud of.”
When is the 2021 MLB All-Star game? Time, channel, who’s in, who’s out and more
DENVER — The MLB All-Star game will be on Tuesday evening, with plenty of stars from the two Southland clubs set to take the field.
From the Angels, Shohei Ohtani will play both ways, serving as the American League’s starting pitcher and designated hitter, batting leadoff. He is the first player in Major League Baseball history to earn an All-Star selection as both a hitter and pitcher.
Angels first baseman Jared Walsh will be available off the bench.
The Dodgers will have four players represented on the National League squad: Max Muncy, Justin Turner, Chris Taylor and Walker Buehler. Muncy is the lone starter of that group, batting second as the NL’s designated hitter.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is the NL manager, after his club’s World Series title last year.
Here’s everything you need to know for the game.
When does it start?
4:30 p.m. PDT