Along the way, there were twists and turns, ironic moments, potential heroes denied and an inordinate number of unlikely escape acts. (And probably countless squirms from commissioner Bud Selig, who didn't want to see another, you know...)
But in the end — yes, there was an end — Justin Morneau slid home just beating Brian McCann's sweep tag with the winning run on Michael Young's sacrifice fly off Brad Lidge. And a 4-3 win extended the American League's All-Star dominance to 11-0-1 since 1996.
Who knows how many people saw the finish — Yankee Stadium was less than half-full by then, and this one blew through the local newscasts even on the west coast.
At four hours and 50 minutes, it was the longest All-Star Game in history by a full one hour and nine minutes — obliterating the 1967 game from the record book. It could have ended so much sooner — on any number of occasions. But no ...
“We ended up getting everybody in (the game), huh?'' National League manager Clint Hurdle said.
Added AL manager Terry Francona: “It wasn't a whole lot of fun (to manage). Later on, I started to have panic attacks. (Major League Baseball official) Jimmie Lee Solomon came in the dugout at one point to check on things, and I asked him if he could pitch.''
Francona was kidding — we think.
You want All-Star Game records? We've got records:
'Disbelief' is the word MVP J.D. Drew used to describe the mood in the AL dugout, the longer things dragged on.
“It would have been nice to end it earlier on, but it happened later,'' he said.
The NL clearly was intent on making an extra effort to break its losing streak, and appeared to be on the way to doing so, taking a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning.
Hurdle also got two shutout innings apiece from starter Ben Sheets, Carlos Zambrano and Dan Haren. But by the end of the night, Hurdle was pondering the possibility of David Wright — the last position player added to the NL roster — taking a turn on the hill. Brandon Webb wasn't supposed to pitch at all, but threw a scoreless 14th inning.
“We talked before the game, and I told him, 'in a perfect world, we're not going to use you,''' Hurdle said. “Then I threw out some crooked number like 15, 'that said, if we get to 15 innings and I'm looking for an arm...'
“About the 11th inning, he came to me and said, 'if you need a pitcher, you need a pitcher, right?' And he got his stuff and went down to the bullpen. Class act.''
One of Hurdle's own pitchers — Aaron Cook — went three innings, the longest All-Star relief appearance since 1987. And Francona said he was beginning to ponder the possibility of using one of his own on the mound, too — Drew.
“It was a little weird,'' Drew said. “And I heard about it once I got back out to right field, too.''
Ah, but Red Sox haters got their chance to let loose again shortly thereafter — and rightfully so in this case. Jonathan Papelbon — who mouthed off about wanting the opportunity to save the game instead of the no-brainer that was future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera in his home park — came into the top of the eighth and promptly surrendered a go-ahead NL run.
Papelbon wasn't hit hard — a single by Miguel Tejada — then a stolen base and throwing error by Dioner Navarro, and a sacrifice fly to medium-depth left field by Adrian Gonzalez. But Papelbon left to a chorus of boos nonetheless.
Add another near miss in this 2013 baseball season - this time it was Detroit's Anibal Sanchez falling just short of a no-hitter.
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