Wainwright takes heat, Neshek takes the loss in All-Star Game

Adam Wainwright's All-Star start didn't quite go exactly as he had planned. 

Paul Sancya/AP

Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter didn’t even make it into the All-Star Game Tuesday night.

And still, he had the most productive night of the three St. Louis Cardinals at Target Field in Minneapolis.

That’s how rough the game went for Adam Wainwright and Pat Neshek. Wainwright, the NL starter, and Neshek, returning to his hometown for his first All-Star appearance, were charged with all five runs while getting a combined four outs in the National League’s 5-3 loss to the American League.

Making for an even longer night, Wainwright then had to go on national TV and explain that he was joking for telling reporters that he had grooved a pitch on a leadoff double to Derek Jeter, the man of the night.

"Sometimes my humor gets taken the wrong way," Wainwright said in the interview on FOX. "I feel terrible about this. If anyone is taking away what Derek Jeter has done tonight or off me. It was mis-said. I made a mistake. I hope people realize I’m not intentionally giving up hits out there. I know this game means something."

3 UP

— Lance Lynn. He didn’t make the All-Star Game, but he was named to start the next game that counts for the Cardinals. That will be Friday night at home against the Dodgers. Los Angeles lists Dan Haren as the starter in the series opener, with Zack Greinke scheduled to go Saturday.

CLICK HERE to check out some action shots of the Cardinals at the All-Star Game. 

— Mike Matheny. His decision to pinch-run Dee Gordon for Chase Utley paid off when Gordon sped around the bases in the fourth to tie the game — for an inning — on a double by Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

— Max Scherzer. The Tigers’ right-hander and native St. Louisan — who will be a free agent after the season — was awarded the win after working a scoreless fifth inning. Scherzer also pitched a scoreless inning last year when he was the starter for the American League.

3 DOWN

— Adam Wainwright. His first All-Star start did not go as he had hoped. Not even close. He not only gave up three runs and three extra-base hits in his one inning, but also found himself dealing with a controversy. Wainwright told reporters that he gave Jeter a couple of pitches to hit because "he deserved it." After throwing a pitch in the dirt, Wainwright threw a fastball down the middle and Jeter lined it to right field for a double.

While Jeter would not want to hear that anyone served him a hittable pitch on purpose, the Yankees’ great spoke highly of Wainwright during an in-game TV interview. Jeter said he appreciated that Wainwright, who had laid his glove on the pitching rubber, allowed the crowd at Target Field plenty of time for a long ovation. Jeter also said he respected Wainwright for how he handles himself on and off the field.

— Pat Neshek. After giving up three runs all season for the Cardinals, Neshek was charged with two runs and did not last an inning when called on to work the fifth inning. Neshek was touched for three hits, got only one out and was tagged with the loss. Still, the experience was memorable for the native Minnesotan, who received one of the loudest ovations in pregame introductions.

— Losing out on home-field advantage. If you don’t think it matters, consider this: The home team has won nine straight Game 7s in the World Series. Not since the Pirates beat the Orioles in 1979 has a visiting team won a Game 7. The Cardinals know this as well as any team, too. They have played four Game 7s since ’79, two at home (1982, 2011) and two on the road (1985, ’87). 

You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @StanMcNeal or email him at stanmcneal@gmail.com.