You can’t stop talking about the horrific metro-area traffic, and your Twitter feed is full of photos of the Pluto fly-by, but c’mon: nothing deserves more buzz than Brian Dozier’s last 10 days. The Twins’ All-Star second baseman crushed an eighth-inning home run in last night’s Midsummer Classic (that you can watch here) to put an exclamation point on a wild week and a half. The hashtag (#votedozier) that took over the Twin Cities, four dingers, two walk-offs … here’s the full recap:
Houston’s Jose Altuve is announced as the AL’s starting second baseman. Dozier finishes out of the top five in voting.
Two second basemen not named Dozier are announced as AL reserves: Jason Kipnis and Brock Holt, the only reps for the Indians and Red Sox. Dozier is added to the Final Vote fan-voting contest. Dozier’s response to missing the roster and needing a popular vote victory? He jacked a 10th-inning walk-off homer at Target Field to beat Baltimore. Not a bad way to start an All-Star campaign.
A roster spot opens up after Alex Gordon gets hurt, but AL manager Ned Yost chooses another outfielder to replace him, the Yankees’ Brett Gardner.
Royals 3B Mike Moustakas fills the AL’s last roster spot by winning the Final Vote. Dozier, despite the everywhere-you-look hashtag #votedozier, finishes second. Dozier’s response this time will be remembered as one of MLB’s best finishes. Down 6-1 to the Tigers, the Twins rally in the ninth and trail by one with two on when Dozier steps to the plate. One big swing later and Dozier has his 19th homer and the Twins’ end an incredible 8-6 comeback victory. It was Dozier’s third homer of the week, and the Twins won each of those games. The timing of his hot streak couldn’t have been better …
Dozier’s day finally comes when he is named to the AL team as an injury replacement for Toronto’s Jose Bautista. Here's what it was like when the news was announced at Target Field.
The last guy to make the roster comes through: Dozier hits his fourth home run in eight days, and he won’t ever forget this one. The AL already had the All-Star Game in the bag (surely the Tigers were thinking the same thing on Friday night, right?), when Dozier came up in the eighth inning against Pittsburgh closer Mark Melancon. Dozier fell behind in the count, but then he pounded a knee-high 1-2 pitch toward center field. The ball sailed and cleared the fence for a solo home run. Moments later, his buddy Glen Perkins closed out the AL’s victory in the 86th All-Star Game.
Four home runs, omnipresent All-Star Game promotion hash tag, enormous fan support, six Twins victories, dramatic All-Star Game roster promotion, All-Star Game appearance, All-Star Game bomb to center field. Top that, Pluto.