The 2008 MLB All-Star Game...Featuring: Washington Nationals' Shortstop Cristian Guzman.(Edited Version)

 

“...And from the Washington Nationals....Cristian Guzmin!” A polite applause from the Yankee Stadium crowd follows as I wonder if I’ve been calling Guzmin “Guzman” all these years...

 

“The NL is gonna get killed.” This is my friend, Runner, a lifelong Mets’ fan, who’s checking in via the text message. “I may not like your team, but I admire you’re sticktoituveness,” Runner continues, creating linguistic atrocities when I tell him to log on to federalbaseball.com and join in the All-Star chatter. (ed. note - “I write back, ‘1 Mets' World Series title in ur life, son, remember what happened the last two seasons? Remember?”)

 

My Brother Scout, Braves' Fan and Source For All Things Baseball is in the house with me as the All-Star game gets underway, and the camera pans to two Nationals’ fans seated in Yankees Stadium. “You guys are like the ‘300’,” Scout says of the DC faithful, “...but the ‘9000’ instead,” Scout jabs, making sure I know he’s read the articles about Washington’s TV numbers. 

 

“Do you believe Boggs was wearing a Yankees’ cap?” Runner asks. “Where’s your Tampa cap now?” I chime in. Gary Carter’s introduced along with tonight’s starting catchers as they go through all of the Hall of Famers at each position, and Mr. Carter, the Kid! Is rocking the Montreal Expos’ cap!! Les Expos Existent!!

In The Comments Section...

 

"I saw a Nats Fan!...In the Crowd." - CptChaosSidekick 

 

"I saw 2 of the 9,000!! A rare sighting indeed...Gary Carter's rocking the Expos' cap!!! Put the Mets’ cap down, Kid." - e chigliak 

For one night only, we can all cheer for the same team,” I tell Scout and text Runner. “Gladly,” Runner responds, my Brother slyly chuckles, but I know at least Runner thinks that tonight they’re playing for home field advantage when the Mets reach the Series. 

 

AL starters Cliff Lee and Grady Sizemore are introduced via an anecdote about the Expos’ trade for Bartolo Colon in exchange for Lee, Sizemore, Brandon Phillips and Lee Stevens. “Why do they have to bring that up,” I ask Scout. “Because two of the players are in the game,” Scout replies dryly. 

 

Jeter couldn’t carry the jock of any of the three NL shortstops with those numbers,” Scout states. (Jeter’s #’s - .284 AVG, 18 doubles, 3 triples, 5 HR's, 42 RBI's.) “Wright better not blow this,” I text Runner, who makes no response.”Laaarrry!” I taunt my Brother after Chipper Jones has the NL’s first hit off Cliff Lee. “Pinch Runner,” Scout says aloud, wanting Chipper out of the game, “...I’d rather seeing him resting,” Scout explains. 

 

Four scoreless. Matt Holliday goes the other way and out to right, off Angels’ righty Ervin Santana, for a solo HR to start the scoring at 1-0 NL in the fifth. D-Backs’ righty Dan Haren lets two on in the AL-fifth, and then blows away Ichiro with a fastball to bring up Derek Jeter...who grounds back to the mound. 1-0 NL after five. “Jeter Stinks!” Scout chants. I text Runner...”Jeter stinks. Reyes is the best SS in NY!! Oh wait, Reyes isn’t an All-Star, I don’t have to cheer for him tonight!” “I bet your player (Guzman) doesn’t even get in the game, jerk!” Runner responds. “If he (Guzman) gets in, he will probably face Rivera or Papelbon...maybe he should just sit.” “Maybe?” Scout responds. 

 

Hanley Ramirez singles off Justin Duchscherer to start the sixth and moves to third as Chase Utley hits the second straight single of the inning. “That’s NL ball (expletive deleted)!!” Scout yells. Lance Berkman flies out to deep center. Ramirez tags and scores. 2-0 NL. Albert Pujols singles up the middle. Will Duchscherer get pulled in the ASG? “Blow this open, C.Jones,” my brother implores Chipper Jones as he steps up with two on and one out. Chipper swings through a high fastball for strike three. Duchscherer pops up Holliday to end the sixth.

After 13 votes, as of 10:49 pm EST, Federal Baseball readers think Cristian Guzman will K if he gets a chance at bat. “13 votes,” Runner taunts, “I guess ALL the Nationals’ fans are on your site.“Of the 9,000 that watch on TV, that’s not bad,” I try to defend the site, but receive no response...

JD Drew ties it with one down and two on in the AL seventh. Reds’ righty Edinson Volquez is rolling before Drew takes him deep. 2-2 in the seventh.Do you want (Mets’ closer) Billy Wagner coming in here?” I ask Runner. “Sure...” Runner responds sarcastically, “We all know he will give up a hit and a walk, let’s just get it over with...

 

Miguel Tejada starts the NL eighth with a single, steals second, and takes third on an errant throw from Rays’ catcher Dioner Navarro, before he scores on a sac fly from Adrian Gonzalez of the Padres. 3-2 NL leads. David Wright up at bat...K’s looking to end the inning...

 

(ed. note - "Testing Runner's Predictions for Wagner...") - Mets’ closer Billy Wagner comes on with two down in the eighth to face left-handed hitter Grady Sizemore, who promptly singles...Evan Longoria gets in as a pinch hitter. Longoria reaches down and drives an RBI double to right to tie the game at 3-3 in the eighth. WAGNER!!! (ed. note - "Runner was close, but it's a single and double instead of the single and walk he predicted. Runner is either asleep, or no longer responding, either way, it's a tie ballgame...") 

 

Cubs’ third baseman Aramis Ramirez walks to start the NL ninth. NL Manager Clint Hurdle calls Guzman over and tells him the plan...AND CRISTIAN GUZMAN IS ON TO PINCH RUN!!! GUZMAN at first...

In The Comments Section...

"(NL Manager) Clint Hurdle just called on GUZMAN!!! TO PINCH RUN!!!! GUZMAN! GUZMAN! GUZMAN! GUZMAN!!!!!" - e chigliak

 

"Run, Guz, run!" - Doghouse 

 

...Cards’ outfielder Ryan Ludwick goes down swinging, Guzman’s running...and he gets NAILED by Dioner Navarro, Strike’em out throw’em out to end the top of the ninth...Ryan Dempster retires the AL in order and it’s going to All-Star extras...

 

"NOOOOO!!! GUZMAN NAILED STEALING!! STRIKE 'EM OUT, THROW 'EM OUT!! NO GUZ NO!!!" - e chigliak

 

"Not our year, I guess..." - Doghouse 

NL BALL! NL BALL! After Nate McLouth K's swinging, Dodgers’ catcher Russell Martin singles off Mariano Rivera and takes third on a hit and run single from Miguel Tejada. Rivera gets a DP grounder from Dan Uggla to end the top of the tenth...Two straight errors on Dan Uggla on ground balls from Michael Young and Carlos Quentin, and Rockies’ righty Aaron Cook is in deep trouble in the bottom of the tenth. Carlos Guillen up, first and third, 0 outs. Guillen gets the intentionals to load the bases. “Now they have to hope for something back to the pitcher,” Scout says...Grady Sizemore grounds to second, Uggla throws home without an error, but the throw to first is too late. Bases still loaded. Evan Longoria grounds to Guzman who throws home for a force. Two down. Justin Morneau grounds weakly to short...Tejada fires sidearm to first, IN TIME!! On to the eleventh...

 

KC closer Joakin Soria gives up a leadoff single to Adrian Gonzalez to start the eleventh. David Wright  K’s...and it’s the GUZZZZZ...

Fastball for a low strike, 92 mph...second pitch, same place again at 91, and Guzman lines out to center for the second out on the third pitch...

...Brewer Corey Hart flies out to right to end the NL eleventh.

 

Aaron Cook comes back out and gives up a single to Ian Kinsler, who drops a bloop hit into center. Kinsler runs, Cook and catcher Russell Martin combine to pitch out and throw Kinsler out. Cook walks Dioner Navarro. JD Drew...singles up the middle. Michael Young, singles up the middle...

 

...Navarro comes around third, Pirates’ outfielder Nate McLouth comes up throwing and NAILS Navarro at home!!! Carlos Quentin grounds to third, GUZMAN fields and throws to first, IN TIME!! Twelfth inning?

 

Joakim Soria walks Ryan Ludwick to start the twelfth. “So now, ‘It counts’, and you have a Royal and Nationals’ player on the field? When the game is decided?” Scout asks. I just stare at him. “You heard me,” Scout says. Nate McLouth beats out a sac bunt attempt. Russell Martin lays down the sac bunt. Soria walks Miguel Tejada to load the bases. Dan Uggla? Soria gets Uggla on three straight pitches, with a devastating curve to end the at bat. Two down, and Orioles’ closer George Sherrill’s on to face Adrian Gonzalez. Three straight strikes. Three stranded runners. 3-3 ballgame...Carlos Guillen doubles off Aaron Cook, who is somehow still in the game? Grady Sizemore grounds out to second, Guillen to third. Cook strikes out Evan Longoria! Justin Morneau gets the intentionals. Ian Kinsler grounds out to third, Guzman throws to first, Thirteen? 

 

David Wright hits a broken bat single off George Sherrill to start the thirteenth...

...Cristian Guzman takes a high ball outside from Sherrill...low strike, 1-1 count, Guzman bunts back to the mound, “Too hard, right back at the mound, terrible, terrible bunt, it’s called a sacrifice Guzman, don’t try to hit,” Scout chides Guzman. 

...Corey Hart swings through a high two-strike fastball. Ryan Ludwick pops out to second. AL’s turn to try for the win...Cubs’ righty Carlos Marmol takes over for the NL in the thirteenth. JD Drew reaches on a one-out grounder that Dan Uggla misplays, for his third error of the evening. Drew safe at first. Michael Young K’s looking at a nasty Marmol curve, but Drew steals second safely on the pitch. Carlos Quentin swings over a two-strike slider. Fourteen innings? Really? 

 

Nate McLouth’s fly ball shot at immortality dies on the warning track. Russell Martin’s fly ball doesn’t even get to the track...and Miguel Tejada? Miggy grounds out to short...Tejada helps D-Backs’ righty Brandon Webb, diving to rob Carlos Guillen of a line drive hit. Grady Sizemore strikes out swinging. Evan Longoria goes down swinging...15? Dan Uggla K’s swinging at Rays’ lefty Scott Kazmir’s high two-strike fastball. Adrian Gonzalez flies out. David Wright works a two-out walk to bring up...

Cristian Guzman...The Guzzz grounds out to first...

Walk-off or it’s over? Philly closer Brad Lidge vs Justin Morneau. Morneau singles to center. Ian Kinsler hits a line driv...Ryan Ludwick dives to rob Kinsler of an extra base hit. Dioner Navarro singles to center. Morneau stops at second. JD Drew works the count full...and walks to load the bases for Michael Young. Lidge gives up a fly ball to right...Corey Hart catches it coming in and throws home...Morneau slides in, “SAFE! SAFE!” the Ump yells, and somewhere Bud Selig breathes a sigh of relief...AL wins 4-3. 

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