Tuesday, July 10, 2012
2012 All-Star Game: Seventh inning
By David Schoenfield
Ryan Cook of the A's enters to face Bryce Harper. Cook certainly wins "least likely All-Star" honors -- even more so than Harper. The rookie reliever appeared in a few games last season with the Diamondbacks before going to Oakland in the Trevor Cahill trade, sort of a throw-in to Jarrod Parker, but a guy not even guaranteed to make the team entering spring training. Cook has some serious heat and has proved difficult to hit, holding batters to a .105 average. Obviously, that will be impossible to keep up.
Anyway, let's hope Cook's career goes better than some other rookie relievers we've seen in All-Star Games. What, you don't remember Bill Dawley or Mark Clear?
(Actually, now that I look it up: Clear made two All-Star appearances and was 71-49 in his career despite a 1.53 WHIP. Dawley had a couple good seasons before petering out or getting injured. My point, I guess: Don't expect Cook to turn into Mariano Rivera.)
Cook gets Harper looking and cruises through a 1-2-3 inning, also getting David Wright looking. Nine outs for the AL to get on the board.
Billy Butler comes up to bat to lead off the bottom of the seventh against Cole Hamels. Royals fans are chanting "Bil-ly! But-ler!" for their lone representative. Hey, it's better than having to chant "Ken! Harvey!"
(Who is Ken Harvey you ask? The Royals' 2004 All-Star representative! Yes, it's been that kind of All-Star Game: We just referenced Ken Harvey.)
Much to the disappointment of the hometown crowd, Butler grounds out. Let's hope he gets at least one more at-bat. If only because that means the AL will have actually scored a run or two.
Anyway, an easy inning for Hamels. I think I just saw Magic Johnson shaking his hand in the NL dugout.