Arizona Diamondbacks: Greinke shines, National League drops ASG

Zack Greinke pitched one scoreless inning for the NL in the All-Star game. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Zack Greinke pitched one scoreless inning for the NL in the All-Star game. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke kept the 2017 MLB All-Star Game tied ; Robbie Ray did not get to pitch

For Arizona Diamondbacks fans, the results of the 88th MLB All-Star Game had to present mixed emotions.

After pitching like an ace in the first half, Zack Greinke shined for the National League. The right-hander made his fourth all-star game appearance and first as a Diamondback. NL Manager Joe Maddon called upon him in the fourth.

The 33-year-old Greinke made quick work of three great hitters. Houston Astros center fielder George Springer flew out to center. Then, Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor struck out looking. Finally, Seattle Mariners right fielder Nelson Cruz flew out to center. Pitching dominated baseball’s midseason event again and Greinke did his part.

When Greinke entered the game, Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt took over for Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals. Third baseman Jake Lamb took over for Justin Turner at third base in the seventh.

Both Goldschmidt and Lamb are near the top of the major league RBI leaderboard. So, it was only fitting that both had chances to win the game in the ninth.

Late Inning Drama

St. Louis Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina, who tied the game with a solo home run in the sixth, led off the eighth frame with a walk. A passed ball by New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez moved Molina to second. With one out, Lamb worked a walk against Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel. Next up was Goldschmidt. But, Kimbrel got him to chase a high fastball.

Facing a new pitcher practically every inning is hard enough. What Lamb did against Kimbrel, who has been a handful for every team, was impressive. Diamondbacks fans wanted Lamb or Goldschmidt to come through but it did not happen.

Unfortunately for the senior circuit, Chicago Cubs closer Wade Davis gave up a solo home run to Seattle Mariners’ second baseman Robinson Cano in the top of the tenth. In the bottom of the frame, Corey Seager ripped a line drive to right, but Detroit Tigers outfielder Justin Upton made a great catch and the NL could not do anything else against Cleveland Indians reliever Andrew Miller.

The biggest disappointment for Diamondbacks fans was not seeing Robbie Ray pitch. Making his first appearance in the All-Star Game, Ray was the designated extra innings pitcher. Ironically, Davis pitched the 10th inning instead of Ray. The left-hander’s 2.97 ERA ranks sixth in the NL. The electric southpaw certainly deserved to pitch.

Starting the Second Half

Diamondbacks’ field manager Torey Lovullo held Ray and Greinke out of the rotation for the Atlanta Braves series this weekend. Even though Ray did not pitch Tuesday, Taijuan Walker, Patrick Corbin and Zack Godley will pitch at Sun Trust Park against the Braves.

"Arizona Diamondbacks: Report card at mid-season"

The AL won their fifth straight All-Star Game. The last time the NL won was 2012. Amazingly, the AL and NL all-star record is now even at 43 wins apiece and both leagues have scored 361 runs.

In the past, the winner of this game guaranteed home field advantage in the World Series for their league. This time, the All-Star game was merely an exhibition. Each participant of the American League earned $20,000 and members of the National League received zero. Home field in the 2017 World Series will be determined by the team with the best record.

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