All-Star lineups filled with standout after standout

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 15, 2014 - 8:25 AM


Chase Utley put an imaginary coin on his thumb and pretended to flip it. Who deserves to start the All-Star Game more, Clayton Kershaw or Adam Wainwright?

“That’s my answer,” the Phillies second baseman said.

It might have been Mike Matheny’s, too. As manager of the Cardinals, he wants to honor his workhorse ace. As manager of the NL All-Stars, he wants a brilliant, shutdown starter to face a power-laden AL lineup. In Wainwright, he managed to do both — even though it meant, for a second consecutive season, denying Kershaw the prestigious assignment.

Making that choice “was not an easy task, even though it may have looked that way,” Matheny said. “A lot of deserving pitchers [are] out there, but none more so than our Adam Wainwright.”

American League manager John Farrell had perhaps a little easier job, especially once Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka was injured last week. The Red Sox skipper has Yu Darvish and Max Scherzer on his staff, but “given what he’s done over his long and successful career, and what he’s doing this year,” Farrell said, he settled on Seattle’s Felix Hernandez, who is 11-2 with a 2.12 ERA.

Hernandez appeared honored by the decision. His catcher, Salvador Perez of Kansas City, seemed even more thrilled. “One hundred percent,” said Perez, like Hernandez a native of Venezuela. “I’m excited to be the first two Venezuelans, pitcher and catcher, to start an All-Star Game.”

The NL battery is more domestic, with Georgia native Wainwright throwing to Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, a Floridian. Lucroy said he has plenty of respect for a technician such as Wainwright, especially in these days when pitchers seem to throw harder every year.

“There seems to be a huge influx of those 100-mph guys,” said Lucroy, chosen by Matheny to replace injured starter Yadier Molina. “Wainwright’s one of those guys who doesn’t throw mid-90s. He stays around 90 [mph], but he’s able to locate so well, he doesn’t need to throw so hard.”

Apparently not. Wainwright has limited the opposition to two runs or fewer in 16 of his 19 starts, and he’s shut them out nine times, including a pair of complete-game shutouts. He’s 12-4 with a 1.83 ERA (second only to Kershaw’s 1.78), and has failed to go at least seven innings only three times.

“He makes it look so easy,” Cardinals reliever Pat Neshek said. “You kind of just smile when he pitches, because it’s like getting a night off. He goes seven at the minimum.”

He’ll go only an inning or two Tuesday, when the All-Star Game returns to Minnesota for the first time since 1985, and then likely give way to Kershaw, the Dodgers’ two-time Cy Young winner who no-hit the Rockies last month and put together a 41-inning scoreless streak. Kershaw had similarly awesome numbers last season but was bypassed then, too, so Mets righthander Matt Harvey could have the honor in Citi Field, his home park.

For Wainwright, the thrills will start with the first batter. Derek Jeter, playing in his 15th and final All-Star Game, will lead off for the American League.

“I’ve been in the big leagues for nine years, and I’ve never faced him,” Wainwright said of the Yankees shortstop. “I’m very excited about it, to say I’ve faced the best. And he’s undoubtedly one of the best to ever play the position, one of the greatest Yankees of all time.”

One of the greatest Twins of all time will throw out the ceremonial first pitch — seven-time batting champion Rod Carew has been given the honor — and then Target Field will be taken over by baseball’s best, including a couple of versatile, powerful lineups. The National League features an outfield of Andrew McCutchen, Yasiel Puig and Carlos Gomez, a trio who can cover ground and launch baseballs into the seats.

The American League has a legend leading off in Jeter, and perhaps the best player in the game, Angels center fielder Mike Trout, right behind him. And the 4-5-6 hitters, Miguel Cabrera, Jose Bautista and Nelson Cruz, own some of the longest home runs ever hit in Target Field.

Meanwhile, a couple of native Minnesotans will wrestle with the reality of wearing an All-Star uniform in their home state. Neshek and Twins closer Glen Perkins, once teammates in the Metrodome bullpen, will soak in the cheers of their fellow Minnesotans, a dream neither ever imagined would come true.

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  • Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals throws in the outfield during batting practice Monday before the Home Run Derby.

  • Felix Hernandez:Forms, with Salvador Perez, an all-Venezuelan battery.

  • Adam Wainwright:Gets starting nod, barely, over L.A.’s Clayton Kershaw.

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Minnesota 35 FINAL
Miami 37
Baltimore 13 FINAL
Houston 25
Detroit 20 FINAL
Chicago 14
Cleveland 13 FINAL
Carolina 17
Atlanta 30 FINAL
New Orleans 14
Green Bay 20 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Kansas City 12 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
New England 17 FINAL
NY Jets 16
NY Giants 37 4th Qtr 3:56
St. Louis 27
Buffalo 17 4th Qtr 6:33
Oakland 19
Indianapolis 7 4th Qtr 0:30
Dallas 42
Seattle 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
New York 108 FINAL
Toronto 118
Memphis 91 FINAL
Cleveland 105
Boston 42 3rd Qtr
Miami 52
Detroit 51 3rd Qtr
Brooklyn 53
LA Lakers 57 2nd Qtr 0:02
Sacramento 52
Philadelphia 37 3rd Qtr
Orlando 42
Phoenix 50 3rd Qtr
Washington 50
Indiana 0 1st Qtr 10:37
Minnesota 3
New Orleans 3 1st Qtr 10:11
Oklahoma City 5
Colorado 0 2nd Prd 13:38
Detroit 0
Dallas 2 2nd Prd 12:28
Edmonton 3
Buffalo 0 1st Prd 16:57
Boston 0
Carolina 0 1st Prd 17:30
NY Rangers 0
Toronto 0 1st Prd 18:28
Chicago 0
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
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Maine 69 FINAL
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Hartford 82
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Valparaiso 82
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Denver 46
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Lipscomb 69
Tennessee St 47 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 65
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South Carolina 78
Boston College 71
Northern Ariz 66 FINAL
Hampton 75
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UC Irvine 55 FINAL
Bradley 47
Troy 65 FINAL
Nicholls 64
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Georgia 44
Appalachian St 26 1st Half 3:09
Alabama 25
North Dakota St 7 1st Half 12:35
Kent State 6
San Jose St 7 1st Half 16:23
Washington St 4
Alcorn State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Sacramento St 9:00 PM
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 28 FINAL
Bowling Green 33
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
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Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
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Western Ky
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Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
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North Carolina
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Virginia Tech
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(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Cal-Irvine 55 FINAL
Denver 63
St Marys-CA 52 FINAL
George Washington 70
TX-San Antonio 49 FINAL
Nicholls 57
Portland State 71 FINAL
Columbia 66
Tenn Tech 62 FINAL
Morgan State 56
Auburn 56
Quinnipiac 70 FINAL
Hartford 58
Hofstra 75 FINAL
Boston College 61
Eastern Washington 55 FINAL
Georgia Southern 42
Liberty 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 84
Fairleigh Dickinson 74 FINAL
Brown 79
Buffalo 73 FINAL
Long Island 79
Bucknell 74 FINAL
Mount St Marys 49
Stony Brook 70 FINAL
Wagner 76
Wofford 75
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Providence 67
Maine 54 FINAL
William & Mary 51
Alabama State 43 FINAL
Samford 56
TX-Pan American 43 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 64
South Dakota St 64 FINAL
Marist 82
Saint Josephs 50 FINAL
(5) Notre Dame 64
Radford 60 FINAL
Virginia Tech 73
(3) Texas 67 FINAL
(4) Texas A&M 65
Rhode Island 60 FINAL
Bryant 56
South Florida 90 FINAL
Penn State 87
Sam Houston St 55 FINAL
TCU 79
Evansville 50 FINAL
(14) Maryland 110 FINAL
Coppin State 51
Mercer 59 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 72
Chattanooga 58
Princeton 84 FINAL
Monmouth 53
Eastern Illinois 69 FINAL
Lehigh 72
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Binghamton 72
SC State 57 FINAL
Clemson 66
Fairfield 63 FINAL
Iowa State 76
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Eastern Kentucky 56
Cleveland State 80 FINAL
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Kent State 62 FINAL
Colgate 61
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UAB 73
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Navy 71
Youngstown St 52 FINAL
Pittsburgh 78
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Davidson 51 FINAL
Charlotte 86
Indiana State 73 FINAL
St Johns 67
Southern U 49 FINAL
Florida 78
Wright State 46 FINAL
Purdue 70
(19) Oklahoma St 66 FINAL
USC 62
Houston 54 FINAL
Texas Tech 60
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Tulsa 59
Dayton 71 FINAL
Vanderbilt 67
Northern Ariz 37 FINAL
New Mexico 56
UNC-Asheville 60 FINAL
USC Upstate 67
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South Dakota 86
Western Ill 57 FINAL
Marquette 65
Elon 67 FINAL
(6) North Carolina 85
Ball State 59 FINAL
Western Ky 84
(8) Kentucky 67 FINAL
(13) Duke 89
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Alabama 87
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Bowling Green 61 FINAL
Bradley 47
Ill-Springfield 56 FINAL
SE Missouri St 73
Northern Ill 42 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
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Drake 98
Central Michigan 64 FINAL
Minnesota 67
Western Carolina 45 FINAL
North Florida 62
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Colorado 76
Portland 58 FINAL
Boise State 94
Cal Poly 63 FINAL
Colorado State 65
No Dakota State 54 FINAL
Grand Canyon 69
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Cal State Fullerton 49
Oklahoma 64 FINAL
Arkansas 71
Idaho State 63 FINAL
Seattle 55
(18) Michigan State 89 FINAL
(19) Syracuse 76
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Arizona State 88
TX-Arlington 46 FINAL
North Texas 38
Fresno State 68 FINAL
Oregon 59
St Francis-PA 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 72
CS-Bakersfield 74
(2) Connecticut 86
(10) Louisville 70 FINAL
(24) California 57
Howard 29 2nd Half 15:17
Virginia 44
Miami-Ohio 4 1st Half 13:45
(21) Miss State 8
Illinois-Chicago 8:30 PM
Old Dominion


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