It ended the way it was supposed to.
Bryce Harper took down Kyle Schwarber in the finals of Monday’s All-Star Game Home Run Derby in front of 40K+ fans at Nationals Park, becoming the third player ever to win the Derby at their home park (Ryne Sandberg in 1990 and Todd Frazier in 2015 were the first two to accomplish the feat).
Harper first eliminated Freddie Freeman in the first round with 13 longballs, and he then disposed of Max Muncy with another 13 dingers. Worth noting is that Harper beat both with time to spare, including defeating Muncy with more than one minute left on the clock.
Schwarber cracked 21 home runs in the semifinals to beat Rhys Hoskins and it looked like he might disappoint most of the fans at Nationals Park when he blasted 18 in the finals. Harper got off to a slow start, although that could be blamed at least in part to his pitcher – who was also his father – suddenly getting wild. However, he rebounded with a flurry of home runs – nine in 47 seconds to be exact – to tie Schwarber and beat him with his 19>th bomb in bonus time.
The Home Run Derby has become much more fun again since MLB altered the rules to make it a bracket-style, single-elimination timed event. Monday’s Derby certainly did not disappoint.
Scherzer vs. Sale Rematch
Scherzer vs. Sale Rematch
On Monday, American League All-Star manager A.J. Hinch and National League All-Star manager Dave Roberts revealed their starting pitchers and lineups for Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic.
The starting pitching matchup will be a rematch from last year, as Chris Sale will again take the ball for the Junior Circuit and Max Scherzer will toe the slab for the Senior Circuit. Sale tossed two scoreless frames in last year’s game, while Scherzer spun a scoreless inning of his own. It’s Sale’s third straight All-Star Game start.
"The proof is in the numbers, and he is the most consistent starting pitcher in our league," Hinch said of his decision to start Sale.
Jacob deGrom had a case to start for the NL, but he and Scherzer both had marvelous first halves and with the All-Star Game being at Nationals Park, it was a pretty easy decision by Roberts to go with Scherzer. DeGrom will follow Scherzer and Luis Severino will follow Sale.
As for the lineups, they will break down like this:
1. Mookie Betts, RF, Red Sox
2. Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros
3. Mike Trout, CF, Angels
4. J.D. Martinez, DH, Red Sox
5. Jose Ramirez, 3B, Indians
6. Aaron Judge, LF, Yankees
7. Manny Machado, SS, Orioles
8. Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox
9. Salvador Perez, C, Royals
1. Javier Baez, 2B, Cubs
2. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
3. Paul Goldschmidt, DH, Diamondbacks
4. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves
5. Matt Kemp, LF, Dodgers
6. Bryce Harper, CF, Nationals
7. Nick Markakis, RF, Braves
8. Brandon Crawford, SS, Giants
9. Willson Contreras, C, Cubs
Both lineups are obviously loaded, but the AL certainly looks to have an advantage on paper. I mean, Manny Machado is batting seventh, for crying out loud. By the way, Machado will be representing the Orioles on Tuesday. Whether he suits up for them Friday for the start of the second half remains to be seen.
Quick Hits: Gleyber Torres (hip) will begin a rehab assignment this weekend and hopes to be activated from the disabled list on July 23 … MLB.com’s Jon Morosi has reported that the Phillies are currently the “most likely destination” for Manny Machado because of their willingness to include pitching prospect Adonis Medina in a trade … Jacob deGrom's agent Brodie Van Wagenen told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic on Monday that he believes the Mets' "best course of action is to seriously consider trade opportunities now" for his client if they’re unable to sign him to a contract extension … Jon Heyman of Fancred has reported that the Nationals could revisit a deal for J.T. Realmuto and might now be willing to include outfield prospect Victor Robles in a trade … Yoenis Cespedes (hip, quad) hit two home runs in a simulated game Monday at the Mets' spring training complex and looks to be on track for activation from the disabled list at the start of the second half … Sean Doolittle (toe) threw on flat ground again Monday and is anticipating a short stay on the disabled list … Felix Hernandez (back) will rejoin the ‘ rotation Mariners on Saturday against the White Sox … Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has reported that the Angels "have no interest" in trading Tyler Skaggs or Andrew Heaney … The Royals designated Abraham Almonte for assignment … The Mariners signed Cameron Rupp to a minor league contract …
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