LEADING OFF: Judge, AL try to even All-Star rivalry, at last
A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
Home Run Derby champ Aaron Judge, Carlos Correa and their teammates have a chance to do something the American League hasn’t accomplished in more than five decades – pull even in the All-Star Game rivalry. The AL has won four in a row, but still trails 43-42 with two ties going into the Midsummer Classic at Marlins Park.
It was 17-all going into the 1965 game at Metropolitan Stadium in Minnesota. Willie Mays hit a leadoff home run and with Juan Marichal starting, Sandy Koufax getting the win and Bob Gibson earning a save, the NL posted a 6-5 victory that put the Senior Circuit ahead to stay.
Major league ERA leader Max Scherzer of the Nationals and big league strikeout king Chris Sale of the Red Sox will be the starting pitchers in Miami.
Along with matching up in the All-Star Game, they have another common thread: both played for the La Crosse Loggers in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer loop. Scherzer was there in 2004 and Sale in 2008.
”So that’s pretty interesting, too. We’ve had some ties for a while and played against each other for a while, too,” Sale said.
IT COUNTS, SORT OF
For the first time since the wacky tie in 2002 at Milwaukee, the league that wins the All-Star Game won’t get home-field advantage in the World Series. Instead, that’ll go to the pennant winner with the best record.
So what’s this game worth to Bryce Harper, Jose Altuve, Nolan Arenado and the rest of the guys? Well, the players on the winning side each get a $20,000 bonus – the losing side gets nothing.
The Cubs will see how pitcher Kyle Hendricks is feeling after throwing 3 1/3 innings in a rehabilitation appearance in the Double-A Southern League for the Tennessee Smokies.
Hendricks, who led the majors with a 2.13 ERA for the World Series champions, has been on the disabled list since June 5 with tendinitis in his right hand. He said he felt fine after the game.