I’m a little late on reporting about the All-Star game, I know. I’ve been a little busy with work at FanRag Sports and Today’s Knuckleball but here’s a synopis of the Home Run Derby & All-Star Game highlights.
Hometown Home Run Derby
The Annual Home Run Derby’s rules have changed over the years but they were never anything near what we saw tonight in Cincinnati. The rules were changed earlier in the season but some amendments were made just prior to tonight’s event. Originally the players were going to get five minutes on the clock to hit as many home runs as they could with bonus time added for home run distance. Here’s a list of the last minute rule changes:
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) July 13, 2015
Not that big of a change and I doubt it would have made the derby any more or less exciting than it was. I’m sure you’re thinking “The HR Derby is never all that exciting and it usually lags.” Which was true in the past but adding a clock to the scene made the derby extremely excited and fun to watch.
Players, fans, writers in the press box (I saw that on Twitter) everyone stayed, everyone paid attention, everyone was into the derby.
The new bracket style format pitted Albert Pujols against Kris Bryant, Josh Donaldson versus Anthony Rizzo, Joc Pederson against Manny Machado and Todd Frazier versus former two-time HR Derby Champ Prince Fielder.
Pujols, Donaldson, Pederson and Frazier advanced to the second round and took each other on. A couple of buzzer beating homers really got the fans into the new format. The format was a huge hit all around. The bracket format and use of a clock really added to the excitement of what had usually been a long drawn out and at times boring affair.
The final round came down to Los Angeles Dodgers Rookie Joc Pederson and hometown veteran Todd Fraizer. Fraizer’s last shot to take the home run derby crown was another buzzer beater at the last minute and the entire crowd just roared with excitement.
The hometown All-Star hero had become an instant Cincinnati Legend! Congrats to the Home Run Derby Champion, Cincinnati Reds’ third baseman Todd Frazier!
Now for the All-Star Game high points:
- The American League’s Mike Trout led off the game with a home run off of National League starter Zack Greinke
- Minnesota Twins’ second baseman Brian Dozier hit a home run in the eighth inning to make the lead 6-3 in favor of the AL who ended up winning by that score.
- Reigning NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom set a record becoming the only All-Star pitcher to strike out the side using 10 or fewer pitches
- And Mike Trout became the first player ever to win back-to-back All-Star Game MVP Awards