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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Updated: July 17, 3:43 AM ET
Ranking the All-Stars who played

By Jim Caple
ESPN.com

NEW YORK -- In case you were so upset about the Mariano Rivera eighth-inning controversy that you missed some of the action in the All-Star Game, don't worry. Here's a ranking of each player's performance, based on what they did on the field, rather than when they did it. And in a game in which offense was at a premium, I gave an edge to anyone who showed even the slightest offense.

Miguel Cabrera
3B -- DETROIT TIGERS (AL)
The reigning MVP doubled and scored what held up as the game-winning run, but more impressively, he made a couple of excellent plays at third base, proving that he can do more with his hands than simply place a Triple Crown on his head. He also swung and sent his bat flying into the stands, leaving one sweaty fan very happy (though perhaps bruised).


Chris Sale
LHP -- CHICAGO WHITE SOX (AL)
He struck out two and threw two scoreless innings of relief. Which is better than the usual offering from a White Sox pitcher coming out of the bullpen. Plus, he got the W, which is something else that is rare in Chicago this year (and most years, come to think of it).


Mariano Rivera
RHP -- NEW YORK YANKEES (AL)
Many fans questioned why manager Jim Leyland had Mo pitch the eighth inning in his final All-Star appearance. The answer is simple: Because Leyland could not take a chance and hold him for the ninth. I mean, what if the AL reliever blew the lead in the eighth and there was no ninth inning for Rivera to pitch? But wait a minute. If another reliever was in trouble, Leyland could have brought in Rivera to bail him out. Isn't that what relievers are for? Or is that against policy to use a closer with runners on base? Anyway, Rivera pitched a scoreless eighth and got the hold ... and the MVP trophy.


Salvador Perez
C -- KANSAS CITY ROYALS (AL)
He singled in his only at-bat and scored the AL's third run. But the most impressive thing about that? He was the first Royal with a hit in an All-Star Game since ... wait for it, wait for it, wait for it ... Bo Jackson in 1989.


Prince Fielder
1B -- DETROIT TIGERS (AL)
He tripled in his only at-bat and slid head-first into third base. Which registered 5.6 on the Richter Scale.


Adam Jones
CF -- BALTIMORE ORIOLES (AL)
He doubled and scored the American League's second run. He also wore some very bright orange shoes.


Chris Davis
1B -- BALTIMORE ORIOLES (AL)
He flied out and also singled off Joey Votto's glove to help the American League to its first run. That may not be as exciting as a home run, but Baltimore fans won't complain if the Orioles wind up reaching the World Series for the first time in 30 years.


Jason Kipnis
2B -- CLEVELAND INDIANS (AL)
The Cleveland infielder doubled home a run in his only at-bat. Not exactly the climactic scene at the end of "Major League," but a good performance nonetheless.


Mike Trout
LF-CF -- LOS ANGELES ANGELS (AL)
He doubled to lead off the game and played seven innings in the field. Yes, seven innings! In that heat! Ahhh, to be young and talented.


Joe Nathan
RHP -- TEXAS RANGERS (AL)
And in Rivera's final All-Star appearance, Nathan pitched the ninth inning and got the save. That could make for a good trivia question years from now.


Matt Harvey
SP -- NEW YORK METS (NL)
The NL starter threw two scoreless innings, but he probably would not win a popularity contest among Yankees fans after hitting Robinson Cano.


Felix Hernandez
RHP -- SEATTLE MARINERS (AL)
He pitched a scoreless inning but allowed the National League's first hit. He was probably still shell-shocked by the unusual experience of his team scoring a run just before he took the mound (and another run just after).


Clayton Kershaw
LHP -- LOS ANGELES DODGERS (NL)
The best pitcher in the National League threw one scoreless inning and then took a seat to get ready for the 2014 All-Star Game in Minnesota.


Joe Mauer
C -- MINNESOTA TWINS (AL)
He singled for a key hit when the American League scored a run in the fifth inning. More importantly, he caught six innings in the intense heat. Hope he had plenty of that Gatorade he advertises.


Jhonny Peralta
SS -- DETROIT TIGERS (AL)
He singled in his only at-bat. And probably led the All-Star coverage with most misspellings of his first name.


Grant Balfour
RHP -- OAKLAND ATHLETICS (AL)
He walked one batter in a scoreless inning of relief. Unfortunately, he was not miked for sound, because that would have made for some interesting sound bites.


Max Scherzer
SP -- DETROIT TIGERS (AL)
The AL starter threw one scoreless inning, and, as usual, did not get a loss. And don't you just love seeing this year's top pitcher in the league throw one entire inning?


Matt Moore
LHP -- TAMPA BAY RAYS (AL)
He pitched a scoreless inning to hold the American League's lead. And the Tampa Bay pitcher did so despite the likely jitters brought on by pitching in front of more than 5,000 fans for the first time.


Robinson Cano
2B -- NEW YORK YANKEES (AL)
One of the few Yankees who has not been hurt this year, Cano was hit by a pitch and left the game in his only plate appearance. Great on-base percentage. Not so great minutes played-to-votes ratio.


Jose Bautista
RF -- TORONTO BLUE JAYS (AL)
He struck out in his first at-bat but drove in the game's first run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. And alas, that's about as good as it gets for Blue Jays fans this season.


Paul Goldschmidt
1B -- ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (NL)
He doubled for the National League's only extra-base hit. I hope someone saved the ball.


Manny Machado
3B -- BALTIMORE ORIOLES (AL)
He struck out in his only at-bat but also made a dandy play at third base. Has Human Vacuum Cleaner been taken as a nickname in Baltimore?


Aroldis Chapman
LHP -- CINCINNATI REDS (NL)
The Reds' closer pitched a scoreless inning. And the Twitter-verse did not explode over not saving him for the ninth.


Jose Fernandez
RHP -- MIAMI MARLINS (NL)
The Marlins' pitcher threw a scoreless inning of relief. Which means Jeffrey Loria will probably trade him before the July 31 deadline. If he hasn't already.


Steve Delabar
RHP -- TORONTO BLUE JAYS (AL)
He struck out the only batter he faced in the seventh inning. And to think, just over two years ago, Delabar was a substitute teacher. Seriously. A substitute teacher! Dennis Quaid, contact your agent.


Brett Cecil
LHP -- TORONTO BLUE JAYS (AL)
He faced one batter, Domonic Brown, and struck him out. He now has a 0.00 career All-Star Game ERA and is averaging 27 strikeouts per nine innings.


David Wright
3B -- NEW YORK METS (NL)
He singled in three at-bats, providing the highlight of the game for the host Mets fans. Other than when they got to see a Yankee get hit by a pitch.


Carlos Beltran
RF -- ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (NL)
He singled in the fourth inning for the National League's first hit. Plus, he got a big ovation during pregame introductions from his former fans. Which is saying something when those former fans are in New York.


J.J. Hardy
SS -- BALTIMORE ORIOLES (AL)
He drove in the AL's second run on a fielder's choice grounder. That was considered an offensive explosion in this All-Star Game.


Alex Gordon
LF -- KANSAS CITY ROYALS (AL)
He was one of three Royals in the game at the same time. Savor the moment, Kansas City fans, because that could be the highlight of the year.


Greg Holland
RHP -- KANSAS CITY ROYALS (AL)
He gave up the National League's second hit and retired a batter before getting the hook. Leyland probably didn't remove him because he wasn't pitching well. More likely, it was because he was dumbfounded by the sight of three Royals playing in an All-Star Game at the same time.


Michael Cuddyer
DH -- COLORADO ROCKIES (NL)
He walked once in two plate appearances, which was the best performance by a DH in the game (none of the others reached base and two grounded into double plays). By the way, when the season started, how many of you had Cuddyer picked as the National League's starting DH in the All-Star Game?


Dustin Pedroia
PR-2B -- BOSTON RED SOX (AL)
He flied out and fouled out in his only two at-bats, yet still spent time on the bases when he pinch ran for Cano. Crafty guy.


Torii Hunter
PH-CF -- DETROIT TIGERS (AL)
He pinch hit for Trout and grounded into a double play. On the other hand, he evidently gave the American League a pretty good pep talk before the game.


Nelson Cruz
RF -- TEXAS RANGERS (AL)
He walked once in two trips to the plate. More importantly, he did not let a fly ball hit by a Cardinal batter drop and extend a rally.


Brandon Phillips
2B -- CINCINNATI REDS (NL)
He flied out to lead off the first inning, thereby setting the stage for the rest of the game for the National League hitters.


Bryce Harper
CF-RF -- WASHINGTON NATIONALS (NL)
One night after launching pitches into the upper deck to reach the final round of the Home Run Derby, Harper lined to third and popped up in two at-bats. Too bad he didn't have his dad pitching to him this time.


Jean Segura
SS -- MILWAUKEE BREWERS (NL)
He went 0-for-1. It could have been worse. He could have batted twice.


Allen Craig
PH-DH -- ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (NL)
Ditto.


Carlos Gomez
RF -- MILWAUKEE BREWERS (NL)
IBID


Carlos Gonzalez
LF -- COLORADO ROCKIES (NL)
He struck out and popped up in two at-bats. I don't think the mile-high air in Denver would have helped.


Yadier Molina
C -- ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (NL)
He caught five innings but also went hitless in two at-bats. He also received a chorus of boos during pregame introductions. Mets fans do not like Cardinals.


Jason Grilli
RHP -- PITTSBURGH PIRATES (NL)
He pitched a scoreless ninth inning but, like Rivera, did not get a save. Here's hoping he gets a chance to pitch many scoreless ninths for the Pirates the second half of the season.


David Ortiz
DH -- BOSTON RED SOX (AL)
Big Papi flied out and grounded into a double play in two at-bats. He also helped make Seattle fans feel even worse, knowing that he was one of five of this year's All-Stars traded away by the Mariners for David Hollins (back when Ortiz was known as David Arias).


Edwin Encarnacion
PH-DH -- TORONTO BLUE JAYS (AL)
He took over for Ortiz and also went 0-for-2 with a GIDP. Who needs the stinkin' DH, anyway?


Pedro Alvarez
3B -- PITTSBURGH PIRATES (NL)
He made the final out of the game, putting National League fans out of their misery.


Buster Posey
C -- SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (NL)
He struck out in his only at-bat. Which is kind of the way it has gone for so many other Giants batters this season.


Troy Tulowitzki
SS -- COLORADO ROCKIES (NL)
He struck out once and could not handle Joe Mauer's grounder (though it was ruled a hit) that led to the American League's second run. But I would still take him over Brendan Ryan.


Joey Votto
1B -- CINCINNATI REDS (NL)
He struck out and grounded out in two at-bats. He also was an inch too short. Chris Davis' important single in the fourth just glanced off the top of Votto's glove, moving Cabrera to third base, from where he was able to score.


Matt Carpenter
2B -- ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (NL)
He went hitless in two at-bats, striking out once. Where is the Rally Squirrel when you need him?


Andrew McCutchen
PR-CF -- PITTSBURGH PIRATES (NL)
He struck out twice but also stole a base when he pinch ran for Beltran. Pittsburgh fans are crossing their fingers there are better highlights during the remainder of the season.


Domonic Brown
LF -- PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (NL)
He struck out in his only at-bat and also did a pretty decent impersonation of an old Barry Bonds when he let Kipnis' run-scoring double sail over his head in the eighth inning.


Cliff Lee
LHP -- PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (NL)
He gave up a run and two hits in one inning of relief. Somehow, I do not think this lowers his potential trade value.


Craig Kimbrel
RHP -- ATLANTA BRAVES (NL)
The Atlanta reliever allowed three hits and a run in one inning of relief. Should Braves fans start getting nervous for this fall?


Patrick Corbin
LHP -- ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (NL)
The Diamondbacks' pitcher gave up two hits, plus the game's first run, in one inning of relief. He also received the loss. And given that he plays in Arizona, he can't use the 90-degree heat as an excuse.


Edward Mujica
RHP -- ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (NL)
Did not play but looked OK warming up in the bullpen.


Tom Seaver
RHP -- HALL OF FAMER (threw out first pitch)
C'mon, man. Throw from the top of the mound, not the front.