With all the talk about the lineups being the strength of both the AL and NL All-Star teams, what was shown on Tuesday was a showcase of the pitchers league that is the MLB.
The youth movement was also in full effect with pitchers like Matt Harvey, Clayton Kershaw, Jose Fernandez, Patrick Corbin, Matt Moore and Chris Sale. Aside these young stars were the “veterans” Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee. It was a time for pitchers to shine, and boy did they.
Let’s take a look at these young pitchers and what they were able to do against the juggernaut offensives they faced:
1) Matt Harvey: The Mets de-facto ace took the hill and started for the National League, in his home ballpark and delivered. It’s no easy task to face the likes of Chris Davis, Miguel Cabrera and others. But Harvey was able to do that. He struck out Cabrera, Jose Bautista and Adam Jones with style. The life on his fastball was arguably the best it has been all year and he stood up to the bright lights of starting the All-Star Game in front of his home fans.
2) Clayton Kershaw: The Dodgers ace, who was a bit unhappy about not starting the All-Star Game had a very dominate performance in the Mid-Summer Classic. He set the AL down in order, taking out J.J. Hardy, Mike Trout and Dustin Pedroia in the process. He did this on 14 pitches and featured his 93 MPH fastball.
3) Jose Fernandez: Easily the best performance of the night, as the young flame-thrower for the Miami Marlins finally got the spotlight and delivered. The 20-year-old rookie phenom struck out Chris Davis and Dustin Pedroia and got Miguel Cabrera to pop up. An impressive 1-2-3 inning for a 20-year-old pitcher who never pitched above AA before being called up to the big leagues. If the Marlins can build around this kid, they will have some serious success in the future.
4) Patrick Corbin: Corbin, who has had a terrific season so far, had a bit of trouble facing the All-Stars of the American League. He was charged with the loss, as he gave up the first of three AL runs in the game. Corbin is still 11-1 on the season, with a 2.35 ERA. He has been one of the lone consistencies in the D-Backs pitching staff and will need to continue this success if they want to capture another NL West crown.
5) Matt Moore: The 24-year-old pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays burst onto the scene this year, opening the 2013 campaign with a 13-3 record with a 3.44 ERA. The 13 wins tie him with Scherzer for the most in the AL. With David Price have injury trouble, Moore has stepped up into the “ace” role on this Rays team that keeps fighting in that tight AL East battle. Moore had a 1-2-3 inning in the All-Star Game (as did most pitchers , as the NL mustered only 3 hits all night). Moore’s pitching is the key to any Rays run to the post-season, so he needs to continue this level of dominant pitching in the second half.
6) Chris Sale: The one thing the White Sox have going for them, Chris Sale. This 24-year-old is the future of the White Sox and has ace like stuff in only his 2nd season as a starter. Sale also pitched a 1-2-3 inning in his ASG appearance. There has been much speculation about a potential trade of Chris Sale. For the White Sox sake, they should keep this guy. He is everything a team looks for in an ace pitcher: electric stuff, good movement, can last in games, a winning attitude and a drive to be the best. This guy makes White Sox games fun to watch.
On the biggest stage of the summer, the All-Star Game put on a show of pitching excellence. A group of young pitchers went out there and showed the world how good they are. The future of baseball is bright with stars like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. But these pitchers don’t want to be put aside, they are just as important to the league as the hitters. Going forward, these guys can completely transform baseball and make it where pitchers rule the game. Tuesday night was just a glimpse into what the future of baseball hold, and the future looks really, really bright.