Happy All-Star Game Day, fans.
Tonight Chris Sale become the eighth Red Sox pitcher to start an All-Star Game and the first in 15 years. The others were Lefty Grove (1936, 3.0 IP), Mel Parnell (1949, 1.0 IP), Bill Monbouquette (1960, 2.0 IP), Dennis Eckersley (1982, 3.0 IP), Roger Clemens (1986, 3.0 IP), Pedro Martinez (1999, 2.0 IP), and Derek Lowe (2002, 2.0 IP).
Clemens and Martinez were each selected as All-Star Most Valuable Player in their respective starts.
Sale also started the All-Star Game in 2016 as a representative of the White Sox. He is the 16th different pitcher to make consecutive All-Star starts, the first since Randy Johnson (2000-01) and the first in the American League since Dave Stieb (1983-84).
Sale leads the majors right now with the most strikeouts in baseball (178). It will be interesting to see if he matches or exceeds Martinez’ five strikeouts over 2.0 IP, the most ever by a Boston starter in an All-Star Game. Pedro is tied with Billy Pierce for the most strikeouts in an AL All-Star start, though Piere’s five punchouts came over 3.0 IP. The major league record for All-Star strikeouts in a start is six by the New York Giants Carl Hubbell in the 1934 Midsummer Classic.
Monbouquette allowed two home runs in his All-Star start, the most by a Boston representative. Eckersley and Parnell each allowed one.
Betts at the Plate
Mookie Betts will start in his second straight All-Star Game tonight. He was 1-for-2 in the 2016 contest, including grounding into a double play.
The record for the most hits in an All-Star Game is four set by three Hall of Famers: Red Sox greats Williams (1946) and Yastrzemski (1970), and Cardinals Joe Medwick (1937). Williams memorable night included two home runs in the game played at Fenway Park.
No Red Sox has hit a home run in an All-Star Game since a solo shot in the 4th inning by Adrian Gonzalez in 2011, the 18th ever by a Boston player.
Fred Lynn hit three All-Star Home Runs as a Sox player in 1976, 1979, and 1980 and then hit one more as a member of the California Angels in 1983. Lynn’s HR with Angels came on July 6, 1983 and is still the only grand slam home run in All-Star Game history.
Other Red Sox players with All-Star Home Runs: Bobby Doerr (1941), Frank Malzone (’59), Pete Runnels (’62), Yastrzemski (’75), George Scott (’77), Jim Rice (’83’), Wade Boggs (’89), David Ortiz (’04), Manny Ramírez (’04), J.D. Drew (’08), and Gonzalez (’11).
There has been only one walk-off home run by a Red Sox player in an All-Star Game: Of course, it was by Teddy Ballgame on July 8, 1941. Williams’ impressive walk-off All-Star home run came with two on and two out in the bottom of the 9th with the AL down 5-4. In All-Star Game history, Williams’ All-Star walk-off home run was one of only three ever. The others were by Stan Musial (’55) and Johnny Callison (’64).
The American League has won the last four All-Star Games, seven of the last 10, 16 of the last 20, not counting the infamous tie of 2002.
Enjoy the game!