It was a pitcher’s duel early in Angel Stadium on Tuesday night during the 2010 All-Star Game. For the first four and a half innings of the game, no runs were scored, and seven pitchers had performed without allowing a run. No one crossed home plate in the ballgame until the bottom of the fifth, when the American League struck first. They scored an unearned run, which was made possible by pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo’s throwing error. The AL got on the board without getting a hit in the inning.
Up until the seventh inning, the AL All-Stars were shutting out their opponents, and it looked as if they were going to once again come away with a victory. But Brian McCann changed the NL’s disastrous recent past in All-Star games with one swing of the bat. McCann came into the batter’s box with the bases loaded, and ripped a bases-clearing double to right. The three runs that scored were the final three of the game, and would be enough for the NL pitching, who did not allow an earned run all night, to close the game.
McCann would be named the game’s MVP. Matt Capps, who struck out the only batter he faced to end the sixth inning, was the winning pitcher. Though he did not allow the game-winning double, which was allowed by Matt Thornton, Phil Hughes was tagged with the loss, as he allowed the first two runners that would score to reach base, while only pitching one out.
The National League had not won an All-Star game since 1996, and the only instance in which they had not lost since that year was in 2002, when the game ended in a tie. Since 2003, the winner of the All-Star game has been awarded home-field advantage in the World Series; October 2010 will mark the first time since then that a National League team will host the Series.