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Tuesday, July 10, 2012
2012 All-Star Game: Third inning

By David Schoenfield

I guess this is as good a time as any to mention that the team with home-field advantage has won 21 of the past 26 World Series and the home team has won the ast nine Game 7s. (Last road team to win: the 1979 Pirates, in Baltimore.)

Back to Justin Verlander for a second: He's allowed five or more runs in a game 44 times in 217 career starts and just six times in the past two seasons. I wonder if any of those were games in which he allowed five runs in the first inning? Or any innings for that matter. I'd look it up, but this is a running diary. No time!

David Price cruises through the top of the third and the NL turns the game over to Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez, who has held opposing hitters to a .192 average. This is a guy the AL could potentially take advantage of if Gonzalez's command is shaky. He has walked seven batters in 11 innings his past two starts before the break. Yes, we're grasping here ...

Mike Napoli strikes out. Curtis Granderson flies out to shallow left. Derek Jeter grounds out to second base. Easy inning for Gonzalez. With the big lead, it's easier for Tony La Russa to know just go the "one inning per pitcher" route rather than worrying about late-inning matchups or extra innings.