The San Diego Padres have just one representative in Miami this week, but there is so much more the Friar faithful should keep an eye out for.
Following a thrilling home run derby on Monday night, excitement for the All-Star game on Tuesday is mounting. The American League and National League will square off in an exhibition with fewer implications than in years past, but still a contest which earns its title, the “midsummer classic”.
The All-Star game used to determine home field advantage in the World Series, but that has since been changed as a part of various baseball reforms this past offseason. Now, the focus is where it should be, on the all-stars who have earned their way to a stage of this magnitude.
The Padres do have one proud representative for the National League, reliever Brad Hand. With a 2.47 ERA and appearances in almost half of San Diego’s games this season, Hand is consistent, reliable, and resilient.
Last season, the 27-year-old led the league in appearances and pitched 90 innings. He also held his ERA under 3. Despite these accomplishments, the staple of San Diego’s bullpen didn’t get the All-Star nod at the game that took place at Petco Park, mainly due to the success of Wil Myers at the time.
Now, it’s Hand’s time to shine. He may or may not pitch in his first All-Star game, but either way, he will make Padres fans proud when his name is announced as the two squads line up along the first base and third base lines.
As for the game itself, fans will be treated with matchups of baseball’s best pitchers who will remain fresh throughout their brief appearances and the most highly touted hitters. Defense is also something to watch for, as every year there seems to be a defining play in the field which changes the course of this game.
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It’s always hard to predict a game like this, with so many moving parts. The only thing that may be harder than predicting this game is managing or scoring it. Sure, Chris Sale will start for the AL, and Max Scherzer for the NL, but they will pitch no longer than two innings, and then managers are faced with the decision of who to put in next.
Same goes for position players. The lineups are out, but these starters won’t play the entire game. There will be so many moving parts, and fans would be wise to not try to keep up with it all, but to just enjoy the display of talent.
Coverage of the All-Star game will begin on FOX at 4:30 PT. The red carpet show and other coverage of one of baseball’s biggest days will begin on MLB Network at 12:00 PM PT. Go National League and Brad Hand, but above all, enjoy this special event!