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Waino and Neshek falter as AL takes home-field advantage with 5-3 win

In tonight’s All-Star game in Minneapolis, the American League held on for a 5-3 victory over the National League to earn their second straight All-Star Game win.

Wainwright struggles: After the entire NL team, applauded Derek Jeter for playing in his final All-Star game, starting NL pitcher Adam Wainwright conceded a leadoff double to Jeter. Afterwards, Waino controversially suggested that he gave Jeter a few easy pitches.

“I was gonna give him a couple pip shots. He deserved it,” Wainwright said.

Yet, the move backfired for Wainwright when Mike Trout drove in Jeter with an opposite field triple to give the AL an early 1-0 lead. Next up was Robinson Cano, who Wainwright struck out swinging with a deadly breaking ball in the dirt. Then, Miguel Cabrera crushed a two-run homer to left to give the AL a commanding 3-0 lead with just one out in the first inning. Waino would recover by striking out Jose Bautista and inducing a groundout from Nelson Gruz to end the rough three-run inning. In fact, Waino hadn’t allowed more than three runs in a single game since May, so to say that he was not his normal self during the All-Star game would be an understatement.

Neshek takes the loss in relief: Cardinals reliever Pat Neshek came in with the score tied 3-3 in the 5th inning, and he would end up conceding two earned runs on three hits while recording just one out. Neshek (4-0, 0.70 ERA) ended up taking the loss, something he has yet to experience in a real regular season game this year.

Pat Neshek took the loss in tonight's All-Star Game in Minneapolis.
Pat Neshek took the loss in tonight’s All-Star Game in Minneapolis.

Other Cards All-Stars: Matt Carpenter was selected by Mike Matheny as an All-Star, but did not make a single plate appearance. The fans overwhelmingly voted Yadier Molina as the starting NL catcher, but since Molina suffered a right thumb injury that will keep him out for 2-3 months, Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy started in his place.

Without a doubt, the critics will say that Clayton Kershaw should have started for the NL instead of Wainwright, which would have probably been the right move in retrospect. But nobody can fault Mike Matheny for sticking with his guy instead of the Dodgers ace, especially since Wainwright has comparable stats to Kershaw.

In general, it was a terrible showing by the Cards pitchers during the All-Star game, as Wainwright and Neshek allowed all of the runs scored by the AL. Unfortunately, the All-Star Game could end up hurting the Cards in the end, as the win clinched home-field advantage for the AL in the World Series.

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