By Stephen M Zorio
The 2013 All-Star game got off to a somewhat inauspicious start, but had an entirely fitting (almost) ending. Mets phenom Matt Harvey gave up a lead-off double to Mike Trout and then plunked Yankees star Robinson Cano in the knee. Harvey struck out two of the next three batters, showing why Mets fans are over the moon about him, but Cano's early injury scare was the headline for the first couple of innings. Harvey, for his part, was apologetic: 'I didn't mean to, obviously, I feel terrible about it,' he told Fox's Erin Andrews. 'My apologies go out to him.' Dustin Pedroia was subbed in for the AL captain.
Fox's Ken Rosenthal later reported Cano has a quadriceps contusion, not a knee injury, and Yankees fans breathed a sigh of relief when X-rays came back negative. Cano admitted he was disappointed to have to come out of the game, but later confirmed he was OK via a Vine -- because why not?
The game lacked in offense on the NL side and while the AL All-Stars got a number of hits, they were only able to push three runs across, but given how the AL pitchers were throwing, that was more than enough. And given who their set-up man was, it may as well have been a 10-run lead.
Mariano Rivera entered the game to 'Enter Sandman' in the eighth* and proceeded to do what he's done hundreds of times before: pitch a perfect inning. The difference was that this was his final All-Star appearance so, to mark it, the players on both teams left the field when Rivera entered, giving him the entire diamond to himself.
Rivera was touched (albeit somewhat puzzled) by the unusual gesture. The standing ovation he got reinforced that the game -- and its fans -- will miss him dearly. Rivera earned the MVP as well in a gesture befitting his stature. He also got a brand new Corvette Stingray and Chevy agreed to makeover a field in his name.
Rivera was his usually humble self: 'I would like to thank God for this, my wife, my kids, my family, you guys, the fans, are the best. It's been a privilege, it almost made me cry. I cannot be more happy than that.'
There was applause for Mariano Rivera in the interview room after his postgame session. Do not see that very often.— Neil Best (@sportswatch) July 17, 2013
Joe Nathan got the save by working a nearly perfect ninth inning, pitching around a two-out double by Arizona wunderkind Paul Goldschmidt. Jason Kipnis recorded the final out, Chris Sale of the White Sox got the win. Rivera recorded a hold, Nathan recorded a save and some foolish fan recorded what was likely a night in jail (scroll down).
*AL manager Jim Leyland wanted to make sure he got Rivera in the game and was concerned using someone else could result in a blown save, thus Rivera pitched the eighth instead of his usual spot in the ninth ... and this is cool:
Something that makes the Mo-ment even cooler: The players swear it was spontaneous and they just held themselves back on a lark.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 17, 2013
If you missed Manny Machado's stunning play, Brandon Phillips barehanded throw or the foolish fan, you can find all of them and more in our running recap of the game below:
8:37PM EST: Have to believe this will be the first of many for Harvey:
So much fun pitching in the #ASG in front of the home crowd. Felt great and was an absolute honor to start.— Matt Harvey (@MattHarvey33) July 17, 2013
8:45PM EST: Max Scherzer, who recently had his 13-0 record 'marred' with a loss, did not struggle in his half of the first inning.
Max Scherzer, hot fire: Joey Votto stares at 99 to finish a 1-2-3 first.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 17, 2013
8:53PM EST: This is shaping up to be a low-scoring, someone needs to get lucky kind of game: no walks, one hit and six strikeouts through three innings of work.
9:20PM EST: And the AL takes a 1-0 fourth inning lead, started by a double off the bat off Miguel Cabrera (who else?) and a sac fly from Jose Bautista, but the scoring ends there as David Ortiz grounds into a double play.
9:25PM EST: Carlos Beltran pokes a change-up into left field for the NL's first hit (and baserunner) of the night. Beltran is promptly subbed out for pinch runner Andrew McCutchen, an outstanding player for the outstanding Pittsburgh Pirates. And, on cue, McCutchen steals second with an excellent slide to just beat the throw from Joe Mauer.
9:30PM EST: Hometown hero David Wright leaves McCutchen stranded at third, still 1-0 AL.
9:40PM EST: After a leadoff double (the third one by AL hitters thus far) by Adam Jones and a single by Joe Mauer, Jones scores on a fielder's choice to push the AL lead to 2-0.
9:48PM EST: NL remains scoreless through five innings and have managed to get just one baserunner thus far.
9:51PM EST: NBA analyst brings up the ever-present, maybe-this-is-why-Selig-did-it controversy:
Is there anything dumber in sports than the rule that whichever league wins the MLB all star game gets home field in the World Series?— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerrTNT) July 17, 2013
10:02PM EST: The NL has their second baserunner courtesy of a four-pitch walk drawn by Michael Cuddyer, but they are not bereft of highlights:
10:09PM EST: The adage goes: 'Walk the leadoff hitter and it comes back to haunt you.' The AL All-Stars don't believe in adages, as they strand Cuddyer at first base and retain a 2-0 lede as we head to the top of the seventh inning.
10:14PM EST: When you have a chance to learn from the greatest closer of all time, you learn from the greatest closer of all time:
Mariano Rivera looks like a mother duckling in the AL bullpen, surrounded by the other relievers, who are leaning in to hear him talk.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 17, 2013
10:19PM EST: Earlier in the game, a fan ran on the field, but not before texting his mother to tell her of his plan. She was not amused. It ended, as all such things do, poorly.
10:24PM EST: Manny Machado is unreal. To wit:
Were you looking for Manny Machado's great play at third? Great! http://t.co/MlHN9UBGiW— SB Nation (@sbnation) July 17, 2013
10:25PM EST: Yup:
10:26PM EST: And just like that, Wright gets his second hit of the night and injects some momentary enthusiasm into the crowd. Leyland makes a pitching change, he is not messing around.
10:37PM EST: Seven innings, zero runs for the NL All-Stars, meanwhile the AL gets its leadoff hitter aboard four the fourth different inning.
10:44PM EST: A double off the bat of underrated Indians star Jason Kipnis gives the AL a 3-0 lead.
10:48PM EST: Es verdad:
Baseball wants to get a younger fan base. Naturally, it brings out a 72-year-old to sing in the middle of one of its highest-profile games.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 17, 2013
10:51PM EST: Is there a better entrance song for a closer than 'Enter Sandman'? No, there is not. And nobody will ever be as good in that role as Mariano Rivera. Just a class act and off-the-charts good.
THIS -> RT @si_mlb: Mariano Rivera takes the field alone, tips his cap to the crowd. Every player out on the dugout steps cheering him.— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 17, 2013
Doesn't happen often when you're a cranky, grizzled old sportswriter, but Mariano Rivera's entrance at Citi Field a chills-inducing moment.— Neil Best (@sportswatch) July 17, 2013
What an incredible moment right here. The greatest of all time!!! Enter the Sandman!!! #ASG— Michael Cuddyer (@mcuddy3) July 17, 2013
11:01PM EST: Despite Tim McCarver doing a depressingly wistful reading of 'Enter Sandman' lyrics, Mo does his job (as always) and retires the side in order. The NL has three outs left to secure homefield advantage in the World Series.
11:07PM: Prince Fielder hit a triple, would love to know what the odds against that happening were.
Even Prince Fielder was surprised that Prince Fielder tripled http://t.co/JycDPWRVyL— For The Win (@forthewin) July 17, 2013
11:08PM EST: Rivera tells Rosenthal the gesture by both All-Star teams -- they players let him take the field alone -- was remarkable and came in second only to winning the World Series.
11:23PM EST: The NL gets shut out, losing the game and, more crucially, homefield advantage in the World Series.
11:27 PM EST: It was also the last All-Star game for broadcaster Tim McCarver:
I know Tim McCarver has his many critics but his choking up at signing his scorecard for the HOF at the broadcast's end was pretty touching.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) July 17, 2013
More All-Star Game coverage
Neil Diamond's version of Sweet Caroline during the All-Star Game Didn't Inspire the All-Stars [Video] http://t.co/yYMz0LhyWF— The Big Lead (@thebiglead) July 17, 2013
One day these people will tell their grand kids they spent the 2013 All-Star game in line for Shake Shack pic.twitter.com/cdBIx5A8It— 'Duk (@KevinKaduk) July 17, 2013
America’s pastime: pic.twitter.com/cW9ha32R4w— MLB (@MLB) July 17, 2013
Matt Harvey unveils blinding new shoes at the All-Star game http://t.co/rUDxXULkjQ— For The Win (@forthewin) July 17, 2013
Harvey isn't the only exciting young superstar who has taken the baseball world by storm. Click here to read more on the new faces of the game -- and the old ones who are being phased out.
.@mlb when is the dunk contest— Alison Agosti (@AlisonAgosti) July 17, 2013
In keeping with NY's price gouging tradition, even getting fries can bankrupt you:
She sure is a pretty city though:
Gorgeous shot of Manhattan.July 16, 2013