Despite loss, D-backs duo revel in first All-Star Game
Goldschmidt's double one of three NL hits; Corbin allows run in fourth inning
NEW YORK -- With the 84th All-Star Game about to end and two out and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth, D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt came up to bat against Rangers closer Joe Nathan.
Goldschmidt did what he does best: The right-handed hitter drilled a first-pitch fastball to the opposite field, over the head of American League right fielder Nelson Cruz for a solid double that took one hop to the fence.
It could have been the start of a rally. But Goldschmidt was stranded at second base when Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez popped out to second, putting the seal on the National League's 3-0 loss at Citi Field.
The double -- one of just three hits for the NL -- proved to be the highlight of the night for the young Arizona duo, making their debut in the Midsummer Classic.
D-backs left-hander Patrick Corbin came on in relief for the NL in the fourth inning to face the middle of the AL's fearsome lineup from three to six: Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis, Jose Bautista and David Ortiz.
During the first half, Corbin was 11-1 with a 2.35 ERA. But Corbin admitted it was the most dynamic offensive combo he had ever faced in a career that's in its first full year.
"I didn't know who I was going to face until I was told that those guys were coming up in the lineup," Corbin said. "Everyone knows Cabrera is one of the best and Davis, with the home runs he's hit this year. But it was a great experience, something I'll never forget in my first All-Star Game. It was a great lineup -- wow. It was just a neat experience that they let me go out there and pitch in that inning. It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life."
Cabrera doubled to right-center and a Davis single just out of reach of a leaping Joey Votto sent him to third. The reigning AL MVP and Triple Crown winner scored moments later on Bautista's sacrifice fly, giving the AL a 1-0 lead.
Ortiz ended the inning by grounding to short and into a double play. It was Corbin's only inning of work, and he took the loss. He threw 15 pitches, 10 of them for strikes. The way the outing ended would have made D-backs manager Kirk Gibson proud. Gibson preaches staying down in the zone and inducing grounders that result in double plays.
"I made a good pitch on Ortiz," said Corbin, who's only 23. "These are guys I've watched since I was younger. It was just cool to have the opportunity to get to pitch. I'm upset with giving up a run, but it was still a fun experience."
Goldschmidt was brought in to replace Votto defensively at first base to open the fifth inning and played the rest of the game. He could have had two hits. The 25-year-old kid they simply call "Goldy" led off the seventh against Royals closer Greg Holland with a scorching grounder down the third-base line that was stabbed by Manny Machado, whose long throw across the diamond just nabbed Goldschmidt at first.
Goldschmidt is having a monster season, hitting .313 with 21 homers and an NL-leading 77 RBIs. He looked undaunted against Holland and Nathan.
Asked how he enjoyed his first All-Star experience, Goldschmidt said:
"It was awesome. Hopefully as many people as possible get to do it. Hopefully I'll get to do it again. Obviously it's an honor to be out here with some of these guys, mentioned in the same breath as them. That in itself was cool, but just the whole experience of being here, everything they did was top notch.
"I got to talk to guys I normally wouldn't talk to. That was probably my favorite part of the experience, to talk to guys and get their take on things."
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.