All Star Game 2008: How the Cubs Performed

11-0-1. 1996. That's how long it's been since the National League beat the American League in the All Star Game. Unreal. This pisses me off not only because the game now determines home field advantage in the World Series, but because it further fuels the flames of "AL fan guy" to continue to rip the NL for being the inferior league. Last night was close, at least, but what does that get you? To look ridiculously ahead to our dream scenario, that means that IF the Cubs make it to the series this year, they're going to have to do it on the road, where they're a 20-26 ball club instead of with home field advantage, where they're an amazing 37-12. Not insignificant.

That said-hey, they tried. I bet manager Clint Hurdle still took the guys out after the game for some Dairy Queen, even though the game didn't end until sometime this Friday (it's called time travel). And I'm sure the Cubs record 8 All Stars tried their bestest to win. But it didn't happen. Cubs Alfonso Soriano (hand) and Kerry Wood (blisters) didn't play. Let's take a quick look at how the rest of the Cubs fared in the loss:
  • Ryan Dempster: Wow...Demp looked good. Dempster came into the game, his 2nd ASG but first where he played, in a tied up 9th inning. The NL needed Dempster, who just threw about 120 pitches on Sunday, to shut down the AL-and he did. Big time. Dempster struck out all 3 batters he faced (Kinsler, Navarro, and ASG MVP JD Drew), K'ing the side, and looking like a bad ass doing it.
  • Carlos Zambrano: Big Z also threw great in his 2 inning of work last night. Z took over in the 3rd after Ben Sheets started the first two innings. Zambrano gave up a leadoff single to Ichiro but held the AL hitless thereafter. Milton Bradley reached on a throwing error by Hanley Ramirez, but Z promptly picked him off at first. Z's performance also included a really strange play where he threw this really weird, slow, looping curve-ish ball that went over Manny Ramirez's head. Not sure if he was joking around or if the ball slipped or what, but that pitch is definitely not in Z's repetoire.
  • Carlos Marmol: Is this what the kid needed? How could his confidence not be boosted after this? If that's what's been bothering Marmol, then maybe his squeaking into the ASG as a replacement for Kerry Wood is exactly what he needed. Marmol pitched one inning, the 13th, allowed nuthin', and struck out two. Great to see.
  • Geovony Soto: Cubs rookie C Geo Soto didn't have much of a game. Soto played the first five innings, going 0-2 with a K. In Soto's first AB he appeared to have just missed on a ball that, perhaps if he's not shaken by the nerves of starting his first ASG in Yankee Stadium, he hits out of the park.
  • Kosuke Fukudome: Fukudome also went 0-2 with a K, but looked much less gooder than Soto. I hear the argument that the league and pitchers are starting to catch up to Fukudome and that is what's leading to his struggles of late. How can you explain that here where he's never faced any of these AL pitchers?
  • Aramis Ramirez: Finally, Aramis Ramirez took a walk against Francisco Rodriguez in his one plate appearance. Given that the game was tied at that point, it was actually a decently important, and good, AB for ARam.

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