September 21, 2023

Rockies C Elias Díaz wins MVP as National League breaks 9-game losing streak

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JULY 11: Elias Díaz #35 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates after hitting a home run in the eighth inning during the 93rd MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard at T-Mobile Park on July 11, 2023 in Seattle, Washington .  (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Elias Díaz made the most of his first career All-Star game. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The National League snapped a nine-game streak against the American League in the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday. The winning hit came from perhaps the last player you’d expect.

Colorado Rockies catcher Elias Díaz, who appeared in his first career All-Star Game at age 32 after nine seasons in the majors, hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to give the NL a 3-2 victory in Seattle’s T -Mobile Park. It is the league’s first win since 2012.

Díaz started this season batting a career-high .244/.299/.384, but made the All-Star team after a moderately better .277/.328/.435 in the first half. Still, his numbers barely stood out among his teammates, and he faced arguably MLB’s best follow-up in Félix Bautista of the Baltimore Orioles. Bautista has an 1.07 ERA this season, 23 saves and 84 strikeouts in 42 innings.

With a 2-2 count, Bautista threw his splitter, which batters hit .143/.196/.179 in 2023, per Baseball Savant — and Díaz took it for a ride. He was overjoyed as he ran the bases.

“I was completely absorbed in the moment,” Díaz told Fox Sports through an interpreter. “I never really thought I would be in this position in my career, but to be able to contribute to the win and be the MVP is something very special.

That homer was enough to earn Díaz All-Star Game MVP honors.

The San Francisco Giants’ Camilo Doval took the win, Bautista took the loss, and Philadelphia Phillies closer Craig Kimbrel got the save, though Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco came a few yards from tying with a shot at the warning lane in the ninth collection. collection.

Here’s everything else that happened in a fun Seattle game.

All-Star Game opened with highlight catches by Adolis García and Randy Arozarena

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole got the start. On paper, it was an effective and efficient inning with all three batters coming down to nine pitches.

In practice, however, it was an adventure.

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. nearly hit a home run off the opposite field to open the game, but a brilliant catch by Adolis García of the Texas Rangers into right field robbed him of extra bases. Next, Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena, who was a roommate with García when they were both St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, made an equally excellent catch into left field against Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman.

“You have to trust your defense. I mean, I’m here to score,” Cole said. “I was a little worried about Freddie’s. I was a little more worried about Freddie’s than Ronald’s, “But anyway, yes, you have to rely on your defence. You have world-class guys running the ball. So I think it worked out well.”

Arozarena also scored a hit in the bottom of the inning, but was caught stealing to end the frame.

Yandy Díaz celebrates approaching child with HR

Rays third baseman Yandy Díaz is having a big week.

The current American League leader in on-base percentage scored the game’s first run in the second inning with a homer off Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Mitch Keller:

That would be the biggest highlight of the All-Star break for most players, but Díaz happened to be playing Wednesday with his wife who was expecting their first child. According to, Díaz did not fly to Seattle with his Rays teammates, opting instead to stay in the city until a late flight on Tuesday. He was also the only AL starter to skip batting practice before the game.

After the game, Díaz will reportedly fly back to Florida, landing around 6 a.m., with his wife’s C-section scheduled for 7 a.m.

Mariners fans make their pitch for Shohei Ohtani

Players on the home team’s divisional opponent usually receive a lukewarm reception in the All-Star Game, but Shohei Ohtani is not like most baseball players.

The two-way phenom of the Los Angeles Angels, on track for a historically lucrative free agency after this season, got the start as a designated hitter. When he came to bat, the Seattle crowd sent out a chant that felt almost premeditated: “Come to Seattle.”

“Never experienced anything like this. Sure heard,” Ohtani said through an interpreter. He added that he loves the city and has spent some time there off-season, in case Mariners fans hadn’t already given in enough of their emotions to the idea of ​​the former MVP in a teal uniform.

Another contender for Ohtani’s services, the Los Angeles Dodgers, came forward when Freeman and Mookie Betts were interviewed on-air. When asked if they would like to start their own singing for Ohtani, Freeman said, “That would be a mess.”

On the bright side for Los Angeles (the non-Anaheim part), Ohtani said Betts was the player who impressed him the most in Seattle.

Meanwhile, some Oakland Athletics fans had their own chant in the fifth inning: “Sell ​​the squad.”

NL loses Lourdes Gurriel Jr. tie HR on replay

Before Díaz came through, the NL appeared to get a much-needed solo shot in the seventh inning to tie the game when Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a ball deep into left field. However, the homer was converted to a foul ball on replay.

Gurriel still managed to hit a single—against another reliever, as Toronto Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano left the game with an injury—but a pop-up by Juan Soto and a strikeout by Pete Alonso left the NL remained scoreless for the inning.

Julio Rodriguez got the chance for an all-time ASG moment

The penultimate album release of the game was the biggest opportunity for drama. Mariners star Julio Rodriguez came to bat against Kimbrel 3-2 with a runner on base and two outs. The whole crowd understood what was possible, as did Rodriguez judging by a powerful swing and what he had. say after the game.

“I was definitely trying to win it, honestly,” said Rodriguez.

Instead of a walk-off homer, Rodriguez walked, and José Ramírez of the Cleveland Indians later retired one batter to end the game.

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