07/09/2002 11:51 PM ET
All-Star Game finishes in tie
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- The last time Bob Brenly and Joe Torre squared off on a stage so global, Brenly's Diamondbacks scored a World Series win against Torre's Yankees in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 last season.
This was considerably less dramatic, but may be talked about just as long.
With both teams' 30-man rosters already depleted, the All-Star Game managers, umpires and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig decided the 73rd All-Star Game would end in a tie, 7-7, after 11 innings Tuesday night in Milwaukee.
The decision was made during an impromptu conference between Selig, Brenly and Torre near the National League dugout before the bottom of the 11th. It was decided that if the National League couldn't push across a run in the bottom of the inning, the game would end. Florida's Mike Lowell made it to second base with two outs, but Seattle's Freddy Garcia finished a scoreless frame by striking out pitcher Vicente Padilla and catcher Benito Santiago.
"Obviously, nobody wanted it to end like this, but it really was the right move," said Minnesota Twins reliever Eddie Guardado. "The fans got to see the stars, they got to see good pitching, good hitting, great plays. The only thing they didn't get to see was a winner."
It was hardly satisfying for the sellout crowd of 41,871 at Miller Park who were informed of the decision before the bottom of the 11th. Fans voiced their displeasure throughout the inning and chanted, "Let them play!" The game-ending decision -- considered the correct one by the players, the managers and TV broadcasters -- was clearly the dominant topic of postgame discussions.
"I tried to think of any alternative out there, but they were out of players," said Selig, the one-time Brewers owner who hosted the last All-Star Game in Milwaukee in 1975. "We'll have to review if we expand rosters or something so we avoid this in the future. This is not the ending I had hoped for."
Garcia, who threw 102 pitches in his last start in a 2-1 Mariners win July 4, pitched two innings Tuesday, allowing a pair of hits on 31 pitches. Padilla finished the game for the National League, allowing only a walk on 25 pitches in two innings of work.
The only other All-Star Game to end in a tie was the second of two games in 1961, a 1-1 tie that was interrupted in the ninth inning because of rain and called after a 30-minute delay.
It was the 10th All-Star Game to go extra innings, and the first since the National League beat the American League, 8-7, in 1994. The Senior Circuit is 9-0-1 in extra-inning games.
Brenly and Torre's use of all 30 players per side was an All-Star Game record.
"Getting everybody in was important to me," Torre said. "It's a treat for the fans, and the players that come really want to play. It's our job to do that."
The unusual ending may overshadowed what was an exciting, back-and-forth game, in which no Most Valuable Player was named.
The National League had a three-run lead entering the seventh inning and was poised to snap a five-game, All-Star Game losing streak. Four lead changes later, that streak was technically over.
"I think the fans got a great show, a great game," said Dodgers outfielder Shawn Green. "It was the best All-Star Game, as far as competitiveness, in a long time."
Offense would rule the day, but one of baseball's best defensive outfielders provided the game's biggest thrill when he robbed the reigning home run king in the first inning. Barry Bonds skied a high fly ball to center field, where Minnesota Twins All-Star Torri Hunter ranged back and made a leaping grab to pull the ball back into fair territory for the out.
The National Leaguers struck first in the second inning. Sammy Sosa notched his first All-Star hit with a leadoff single off AL starter Derek Lowe and was thrown out by left fielder Manny Ramirez trying to advance to third on Vladimir Guerrero's base hit. Guerrero went to second on the throw, moved to third when Lowe balked and scored the game's first run on Mike Piazza's groundout.
With a run already across in the third, Bonds got another chance against Roy Halladay, and this time he didn't give Hunter a chance to pull one back. With Todd Helton at first after his one-out RBI single scored Jimmy Rollins, Bonds worked to a 3-0 count against the Toronto Blue Jays' right-hander.
Bonds pounced on the next pitch and lined it 385 feet off the facade of the second deck in right field, smashing a row of advertisements and giving the NL a 4-0 lead. It was Bonds' second All-Star home run and his first since 1998.
The AL got on the board in the fourth. Monday's Home Run Derby champ Jason Giambi shortened his swing for a two-out single off Dodgers left-hander Odalis Perez, moved to second on a passed ball and scored an unearned run when Ramirez singled into the right-field corner.
The teams traded runs in the fifth. Alfonso Soriano hit a solo home run for the American League off Dodgers closer Eric Gagne, and Wisconsin native and National Leaguer Damian Miller drove in a run with an RBI double in the bottom of the inning.
In the seventh, the AL broke through.
Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon, the last player added to the AL squad in this year's 30th Man voting, created a run in the seventh and kick-started a four-run rally. He glanced a line drive off pitcher Mike Remlinger, stole second base and moved to third on a flyout to right. Garret Anderson scored Damon with an RBI groundout to second base.
Pinch-hitter Tony Batista singled in a run to cut the deficit to a run, and Paul Konerko, fresh off a third-place finish in Monday's Home Run Derby, hit his second double of the game to score two more runs and give the American League a 6-5 lead.
But back came the National League, getting two runs and a one-run lead of its own on Lance Berkman's two-run single off Seattle closer Kaz Sasaki.
"Obviously, I didn't expect this many runs to be scored in the game, period," Berkman said. "At that point, I felt I had a pretty good shot and then they came back and tied it."
In the eighth, the American League tied the game for good. Tigers outfielder Robert Fick hit a pinch-hit single and scored when Cleveland's Omar Vizquel tripled into the right-field corner.
Vizquel thought the decision to end the game was the right one.
"You can't ask for Freddie Garcia to pitch five or six innings when he was coming in on short rest," the Indians veteran said. "You don't want to risk a guy getting hurt."
Rollins singled twice and scored twice in two at-bats for the National League, and Konerko and Miller each tied an All-Star Game record with two doubles. The last player to hit two doubles in an All-Star Game was Bonds, in 1993.
National League starter Curt Schilling, in his second All-Star start and third appearance, struck out three and allowed one hit in two scoreless innings. Only four of his 28 pitches missed the strike zone, and many of them were pushing the 100-mph barrier.
"I threw the ball as hard as I could throw the ball for two innings. That's what I was planning on going out there and trying to do today," Schilling said. "That was everything I had."
The game followed an hour-long pregame presentation, which included a presentation of the 30 greatest moments in Major League history, foul-line introductions and ceremonial first pitches by Milwaukee baseball legends Warren Spahn, Hank Aaron, Paul Molitor and Robin Yount. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani was a special guest in the AL dugout.
Adam McCalvy covers the Brewers for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.