It took four hours and 50 minutes, but the American League beat the National League 4-3.  Justin Morneau of the Twins scored on a sac fly.  There was great clutch pitching and clutch fielding when it counted. 

It’s only fitting the game would end on a close play at the plate as Morneau just slid in before the tag on a Michael Young fly ball to right field off Phillies closer Brad Lidge. 

All 64 players saw action in a game that saw pitchers combine for 34 strikeouts, 17 on each side.  This is the first time the National League has lost an extra inning ball game.  They are now 10-1-1. 

Former Cardinal JD Drew homered to tie the game at two in the bottom of the for the American League.  He was named MVP. 

Other notable Missouri ties.  Albert Pujols 2 for 3, but got thrown out by Ichiro trying to stretch a single into a double.  Ryan Ludwick was 0 for 2 with a walk that he drew off of Royals’ closer Joakim Soria who pitched an inning and two thirds walking two and striking out two.  He was lifted with the bases loaded in the 12 th for Baltimore reliever George Sherrill who struck out Padres’ first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.

Both teams had great opportunities to win the game before the 15 th , but couldn’t find ways to score.  Pittsburgh’s Nate McClouth threw out Rays’ catcher Dioner Navarro trying to score in the 11 th .  In the 10 th , the American League loaded the bases with no outs when Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla committed two errors on back to back plays.  Rockies pitcher Aaron Cook got three straight ground outs with two force outs coming at home to keep the game going. 

Overall, I think Missouri’s representatives fared well.  I think Ryan Ludwick looked a little overmatched at times at the plate.  Of course now the great debate will start up about putting the importance of home field advantage in the World Series to the league who wins the is game after NL manager Clint Hurdle had to use Brandon Webb of the Diamondbacks who threw over 100 pitches on Sunday, and AL manager Terry Francona who used Steve Kazmir of the Rays who did the same thing.  They’ve expanded the rosters to 32 players in hopes of eliminating the scenario that played out last night.  I’ve always wondered why MLB doesn’t play the game on Wednesday and I heard John Kruk of ESPN offer up that suggestion, especially since most teams don’t play now until Friday.

A couple of other random observations I made.  First, I don’t like when players wear the white spikes.  Would someone please tell A-Rod and Pujols that looks awful! (Check out Oakland unis for proof)  Second, did Ryan Ludwick have a make shift batting helmet?  With the NL wearing their road grays, the Cardinals wear the dark blue helmets.  Ludwick’s was red and the STL logo looked almost transparent instead of white.  Plus, I also noticed Ludwick was wearing one of the newly designed Cool-flo helmets with the waves on the top of it, and I don’t think the Cards use those type of helmets? 

Anyway, my opinion this was one of the best All-star games in a long time.  The players seemed to be into the game from the very beginning and the players looked like they really wanted to win the game. 

I think you can solve the issues of the pitcher real quick.  As a manager, if your starting pitcher is selected for the All-star game, you don’t start them on Sunday.  If home field advantage for the World Series is up for grabs, you save your pitcher for that game.  Adjust your pitching rotation if need be.  Or, I think the manager of the All-star team needs to take that into consideration.  If another team isn’t going to make their pitcher available for the game due to their turn in the rotation coming up on Sunday…sorry, pick someone who will be available.  Plus, move the game to Wednesday.  Every player gets Monday off, home run derby Tuesday, game Wednesday, another off day/travel day Thursday, then start back up on Friday.

Share your thoughts, I’d like to hear from you.