One night after Kyle Schwarber‘s power hour, his teammates started the All-Star Game for the National League and represented the Cubs well. Having pitched on Sunday, Jon Lester cheered from the dugout, but Javier Baez and Willson Contreras bookended the NL lineup.
Both Cubs recorded all three outs in the top of the first inning before Javy singled to lead off the bottom of the frame. Willson smacked a line drive homer off Blake Snell for the only NL tally for a long while:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 18, 2018
Willson almost had a pickoff, which I’m sure he wanted to try at some point. Both Cubs were out of the game after the fifth inning and did a solid job overall:
That’s a wrap on the All-Star nights for Javy Baez and Willson Contreras. Two hits between the two of them, including Contreras’ homer.
— Vinnie Duber (@VinnieDuber) July 18, 2018
Can report with more certainty: Machado to #Dodgers happening. Among remaining questions, in addition to specifics of return beyond OF Yusniel Diaz: How much money, if any, #Orioles will send #Dodgers to secure a better package and help ease LAD’s luxury-tax concerns.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 18, 2018
That news came conveniently after Machado was done representing the Baltimore Orioles in the All-Star Game, and was replaced. No major hug watch observed, though.
The game itself, if just baseball, was a bit of a snoozer with a bunch of strikeouts and the four home runs in the early parts. But they did mic up a few guys, including Francisco Lindor, who had a blast out in the field while doing his in-play interview. The player perspectives made the game go more smoothly as they just went out and played like it was a kid’s game.
It was looking OK for the NL until Joey Votto dropped a foul ball. It’s funny how the Cubs’ division rivals totally crapped the bed, as Jesus Aguilar couldn’t drive in any go-ahead runs before Josh Hader gave up a bomb to Jean Segura. It’s no wonder the Milwaukee Brewers are no longer in first place, am I right? *troll* Although Christian Yelich did get a home run of his own to close the gap, so maybe they don’t completely suck. And then after I trash-talk the rest of the division, Scooter Gennett tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with his own homer. Sheesh.
JEAN SEGURA FOR THE LEAD.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 18, 2018
But just like last year, the Astros defeated the Dodgers…or at least their pitcher, Ross Stripling. And you thought Cubs Twitter was savage!
Astros launching Dodgers pitches into the seats like it's October. #AllStarGame
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiantsFans) July 18, 2018
Of course, Joey Votto decided to try to make things right and hit a solo bomb to bring the NL closer. If you can believe it, that was Votto’s first career All-Star hit. But potential trade target J.A. Happ shut down the rest of the inning and that was that.
Speaking of the homers, the fact that baseball is heading towards three-true-outcome certainty was illustrated very well in the All-Star Game. In addition to all the walks and strikeouts, all the offense was off a home run ball except for a sacrifice fly. Even Joe Buck remarked on the three true outcomes as baseball in 2018. Sure could use some gappers and a nightly El Mago moment, but you can’t always get what you want. Until next year, everyone! Maybe the NL can do something then!