Make no mistake about it – it was Mariano Rivera’s night at the 84th MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday night.
And deservedly so, considering that the longtime New York Yankees’ closer is retiring at the end of the season with more saves than any pitcher ever and will be the last player to ever wear Jackie Robinson’s number 42, which was retired by Major League Baseball in 1997.
Rivera threw a scoreless 8th inning in the American League’s 3-0 win over the National League at Citi Field in New York, winning MVP honors in the process, but the representatives from Los Angeles’ two teams did pretty O.K. themselves.
Mike Trout provided a big moment for L.A. as the Angels’ lone representative led off the game with a double down the right field line on the first pitch from Matt Harvey of the New York Mets.
Trout played left field for the A.L. and went one-for-three, flying out to right field in the 3rd and grounding into a double play in the 5th.
The fly out came against the Dodgers’ representative in the game, Clayton Kershaw, which was the other big All-Star Game moment for the two Los Angeles teams and one of three fly balls that the Dodger ace gave up in his 1-2-3 inning.
Kershaw threw 14 pitches in that 3rd inning; he hasn’t given up a run in his three All-Star appearances.
As for Trout, it was his second all-star appearance in what I’m sure will be many. He has two hits among his four at-bats in his two Mid-Summer Classic games.
Now that the annual gathering of most of baseball’s best players – there are always some who are snubbed – is over, the Dodgers and the Angels (and the rest of MLB) will be getting back to business this Friday.
Kershaw will meet the rest of his Dodger teammates in the nation’s capitol, where they will take on the Washington Nationals in a three-game set and commence with gaining ground on first place Arizona.
Meanwhile, Trout will head back to Anaheim, where he and the rest of the Angels will try to get back into the American League West race against the first place Oakland A’s.
This will be a crucial stretch run for both the Dodgers and the Angels; if they are to fulfill the Southern California fans’ predictions of a Freeway World Series that were made back in April, their surge needs to start this coming weekend.