Closure: Derek Jeter's farewell and a Perkins-to-Suzuki save bring victory

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 16, 2014 - 5:25 AM

The final score was 5-3 American League, but few people will remember much about the actual game they played in Target Field on Tuesday night. They’ll remember the heartfelt sendoff that baseball and his fellow players gave Derek Jeter, the psychic transfer of power to boy king Mike Trout, and the group hug that Minnesota enjoyed with one of its own.

“It’s a night I’ll never forget,” Twins closer Glen Perkins after tuning out the din of 41,048 chanting his name while he recorded the final three outs, with the help of recent Minnesota import Kurt Suzuki, for his first All-Star save. The whole experience, Perkins said, “met my expectations — and more.”

Just imagine how Jeter feels. The only way the selection to his 14th and final All-Star Game could have been more perfect was if, after diving to his left for Andrew McCutchen’s hard grounder on the game’s first play, he had thrown out the Pirates speedster at first. McCutchen was safe by a millisecond, proof that not every moment was scripted for TV.

But when the inning ended, the tributes began. As Jeter strode to the plate to lead off for the American League, the recorded voice of legendary Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard intoned his name: “Jee-tah.” The Yankees captain stood at the plate, waiting for a pitcher who wasn’t going to do him the favor of cutting off the ovation.

“I just wanted him to enjoy it. I thought that was his moment,” NL starter Adam Wainwright said. “I put my glove up and just backed up almost to second base, just saying, ‘Dude, I’m not going anywhere until this ovation dies down.’ … I’d still be standing out there if they were still cheering.”

They were cheering even louder and longer in the fourth inning, when Jeter took the field with the rest of the AL stars, but Chicago’s Alexei Ramirez soon jogged out to relieve him. The shortstops hugged, “New York, New York” played in the stadium, Jeter tipped his cap to the crowd, took congratulations from the entire AL dugout and returned to the field for one final salute.

“It was a wonderful moment that I’m always going to remember,” he said. “For them to do that, that was much better than if there was something scripted.”

Jeter, who finished with a single, a double and countless ovations, said he was uncomfortable with the attention — but especially touched by Wainwright’s gesture. “I tried to tell him to pick [his glove] up, let’s go. He let the fans give me an ovation, which I’ll always remember,” Jeter said. “For him to do that says a lot about him and how much of a class act he is.”

How much of a class act is in dispute. Jeter doubled into the right field corner on Wainwright’s second pitch, a 90-mph cutter, and Wainwright said shortly after coming out of the game that he “was going to give [Jeter] a couple pipe shots,” baseball jargon for fat pitches down the middle. “I didn’t know he was going to hit a double, or I’d have changed my mind.”

But Wainwright said later he was joking, and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny angrily denied that Wainwright had let up. “Anybody that knows anything about this guy knows that he’s one of the greatest competitors that played this game,” Matheny said. “Adam Wainwright went out there to compete.”

Whatever the case, Wainwright was probably being totally sincere when he said, “I’m glad I got to face him. It’s something I can always say to my kids, that I faced one of the greatest of all time.”

More than one in that inning alone, actually. After Jeter’s double, Trout followed by ricocheting a 3-2 cutter off the right field wall, and by the time the ball was relayed to the infield, the next “Game’s Greatest Player” had slid headfirst into third base with a triple, scoring Jeter. Wainwright struck out Robinson Cano for the first out, but then made a mistake — well, it’s not a mistake to any other batter — to Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera, a sinker that was 4 inches inside. “Nobody keeps that ball fair,” Wainwright said.

Cabrera kept it fair, but not in play. He drilled a line-drive screamer that cleared the wall in left field by a couple of feet, giving the AL a 3-0 first-inning lead.

The National League rallied to tie, thanks to a pair of RBI doubles by Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy. But the American League took the lead for good — and earned home-field advantage in the World Series — when Pat Neshek, introduced as “from the Park Center Pirates,” his high school in Brooklyn Park, allowed two runs on three hits. The big blow was a double that Trout, named the game’s MVP for his two extra-base hits, whistled down the left-field line. “Nobody in the park was more amped up tonight than Neshek,” Matheny said.

Unless it was Perkins, who jogged in to a loud roar from the hometown fans in the ninth inning, and found Suzuki waiting on the mound to catch him. “It was an overwhelming moment to hear,” Perkins said. “It got louder and louder.” Three quick outs, one a strikeout, and the thrill was complete.

Neshek shouldn’t be sad, Perkins said, because he probably felt the same way he did, as a native Minnesotan. “I thought about that — if I give up a three-run homer, I’m going to be bummed out,” Perkins said, “but I still got to pitch in an All-Star Game in front of a home crowd.”













 

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: American 5, National 3

    Wednesday July 16, 2014

  • Photo gallery: All-Star Game in photos

    Wednesday July 16, 2014

    The All-Star game at Target Field on Tuesday evening.

  • All-Star Game play-by-play (and substitute by substitute)

    Wednesday July 16, 2014

  • Giddy fans bask in glory of Minneapolis' All-Star day

    Wednesday July 16, 2014

    Minnesotans rolled out the red carpet for Major League Baseball’s Midsummer Classic on Tuesday, as throngs of eager fans packed into downtown Minneapolis and sold-out Target Field.

  • Brewers' Lucroy shows he belongs

    Wednesday July 16, 2014

    While the Brewers catcher hit two RBI doubles, much-hyped Dodgers star Yasiel Puig struggled once again.

  • Tigers' Cabrera shows off power and athleticism

    Wednesday July 16, 2014

    The Detroit first baseman slugged a two-run homer and also made a nifty play in the field.

  • Giddy fans bask in glory of Minneapolis' All-Star day

    Wednesday July 16, 2014

    Minnesotans rolled out the red carpet for Major League Baseball’s Midsummer Classic on Tuesday, as throngs of eager fans packed into downtown Minneapolis and sold-out Target Field.

  • Video: AL wins in Jeter's All-Star farewell

    Wednesday July 16, 2014

    Derek Jeter had 2 hits in his last All-Star Game, but did NL starter Adam Wainwright purposely give him...

  • Glen Perkins (15) and Kurt Suzuki celebrated with Derek Jeter (2) at the end of the All-Star Game.

  • Derek Jeter waves to the cheering fans after his last All-Star Game.

  • Derek Jeter made a great play to open the 85th All-Star Game.

  • The Yankees Derek Jeter tipped his helmet to the crowd as they gave him a standing ovation for his first at bat during the first inning of the All-Star Game Tuesday afternoon. ] JEFF WHEELER ‘Ä¢ jeff.wheeler@startribune.com The 2014 MLB All-Star Game was held Tuesday night, July 14, 2014 at Target Field in Minneapolis.

  • Twins closer Glen Perkins got the save — and a high-five from catcher and teammate Kurt Suzuki — after he dispatched the NL’s best with a 1-2-3 ninth inning to preserve the AL’s 5-3 victory Tuesday.

  • Retiring Yankees captain Derek Jeter acknowledged the cheers of fans and teammates alike at Target Field on Tuesday night after leaving the game in the top of the fourth inning.

  • Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera, right, celebrated with the Orioles’ Nelson Cruz after ripping a two-run homer to left field in the first inning.

  • Retiring Yankees captain Derek Jeter acknowledged the cheering fans at Target Field as he left the All-Star Game. See C12 for a commemorative poster of Jeter.

  • Former Park Center High School star Pat Neshek returned to Minnesota but had a short, rough stint on the mound — three hits and two runs in a third of an inning.

  • The Twins’ Glen Perkins watched a fly hit by Arizona’s Miguel Montero in the ninth.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
8:10 PM ET123456789RHE
ClevelandT. Bauer (5-8)000
MinnesotaP. Hughes (15-10)000
@theBallpark
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 14 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 5
Boston - A. Webster 6:05 PM
Baltimore - K. Gausman
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - J. Locke
Toronto - M. Buehrle 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda
Washington - D. Fister 6:10 PM
Miami - T. Koehler
Chicago WSox - J. Quintana 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Hellickson
NY Mets - Z. Wheeler 6:35 PM
Atlanta - J. Teheran
Cleveland - T. Bauer 7:10 PM
Minnesota - P. Hughes
Detroit - J. Verlander 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Vargas
Seattle - T. Walker 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Peacock
Arizona - C. Anderson 7:10 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Cincinnati - D. Holmberg 7:15 PM
St. Louis - J. Lackey
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan 8:35 PM
Oakland - J. Lester
Texas - L. Bonilla 9:05 PM
LA Angels - H. Santiago
San Francisco - T. Hudson 9:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Colorado 9:00 PM
Real Salt Lake
Toronto 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close