Elias Says: July 12, 2017

Cano’s blast leads American League to victory

Robinson Cano won the All-Star Game, and with it the MVP Award, with his 10th-inning home run off Wade Davis. Cano became the fourth player in All Star Game history to hit an extra-inning home run. The others, which were all game-winners as well, were by Red Schoendienst in 1950, Stan Musial in 1955 (a walkoff homer) and Tony Perez in 1967.

Wade Davis has not allowed a home run to a left-handed batter in the regular season since Logan Morrison took him deep on September 24, 2015. Cano had homered off Davis twice previously, in 2010 and 2013.

American League ties all-time series

The American League has won the last five All-Star Games and 17 of the last 21, and with its win tonight, the all-time record between the leagues is tied at 43 wins each (with two ties). The N.L. had led the all-time series since winning the 1965 game to take an 18–17 lead. The N.L. has won only one of the last 12 All-Star Games it has hosted (2011 in Phoenix).

A close and low-scoring affair

This year’s All-Star Game was the fourth to go to extra innings tied 0–0 or 1–1 and the first since 1987 at the Oakland Coliseum. That was the game that the N.L. won in 13 innings, 2–0, with both runs scoring on Tim Raines’s triple. The other instances were in 1966, when the N.L. won, 2–1, in 10 innings on Maury Wills’s walkoff single, scoring Tim McCarver; and 1967, exactly 50 years earlier, when the N.L. won, 2–1, in 15 innings on Tony Perez’s go-ahead home run.

The National League won the first nine All-Star Games that went to extra innings, through the 1994 game. Then came the tie game in 2002 and the American League has won both extra-inning games since then, in 2008 and 2017.

Molina ends Cardinals’ homer drought

Yadier Molina’s home run was the first by a Cardinals player in the All-Star Game since Reggie Smith’s blast in 1974. The Cardinals had been the team that had gone the longest since its last All-Star Game homer; that distinction now belongs to the Phillies, whose last player to hit one was Mike Schmidt in 1981.

Younger stars taking over

Tuesday’s home run hitters, Robinson Cano and Yadier Molina, each have eight All-Star Game selections, tied for the highest total among players chosen this year. This is the first year in which the All-Star with the most selections had fewer than 10 since 1952, when Stan Musial and Enos Slaughter led with nine apiece. The last time a leader had as few as eight was 1940, when there had been only eight games played and Jimmie Foxx had been chosen for each of them.

Ks are King

Chris Sale and Max Scherzer rank 1–2 in the major leagues in strikeouts with 178 and 173, respectively. The only other All-Star Game in which the starting pitchers ranked 1–2 in the majors in strikeouts was in 1953 when the starters were Robin Roberts (N.L.) and Billy Pierce (A.L.).

AL 1B 3/3

The American League’s first basemen reached base safely each time up on Tuesday. Justin Smoak got a hit and drew a walk, and Yonder Alonso went 2-for-2. It’s the first time a team has gone 3-for-3 or better from one position in the All-Star Game since the A.L. first basemen in 1994, Frank Thomas and Will Clark, each went 2-for-2.