J.D. Drew was named the MVP of his first All-Star Game after hitting a two-run homer in his first at-bat to tie the game at 2-2 in the seventh inning. He also reached base three other times in the American League victory. It was a lot more fun than his usual All-Star break routine.
07/18/2008 12:32 PM ET
Drew relishes new All-Star routine
Red Sox outfielder nabs MVP honors in first All-Star Game
"I've always been used to going home and getting a three-day break and watching some of the game on TV," Drew told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Cheeseburger wasn't in paradise for Kazmir: For more than four hours, Scott Kazmir didn't have much to do during Tuesday night's All-Star Game. Not expected to pitch after throwing more than 100 pitches on Sunday, Kazmir spent most of his time in the bullpen looking for things to do.
"I didn't know what to with myself," Kazmir told The St. Petersburg Times. "Once I was the only person there, I started talking to the security guard -- anybody I could find. I wanted to get a little bit to eat. I was thinking about a cheeseburger."
Needing a pitcher in the 15th inning, Kazmir was called on to pitch and earned the win as the AL scored in the bottom of the inning after Kazmir threw a scoreless frame in the top of the inning.
"You don't see that many relief appearances at 1:18. By then, it was three days' rest," Kazmir added.
Morneau fast enough to score game-winner: Justin Morneau, after scoring the winning run in the American League's All Star Game win on Tuesday, said he wasn't exactly certain that he was going to safely score.
"One of the slowest guys on the field on third," Morneau told MLB.com, speaking of himself, "and a semi-shallow sac fly."
"It was about as close as you can get. I thought I was out until I saw him reach across for the ball then have to come back to make the tag. My foot just barely made it in."
Sheets thrilled with making Brewers history: Ben Sheets made a good showing for himself in the All-Star Game on Tuesday night, allowing only an infield hit and two walks in two scoreless innings of work. He also struck out three hitters and said he felt strong despite throwing nearly 50 pitches.
"I felt good out there," Sheets, the first Brewers pitcher to start an All-Star Game, told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I got some guys on base, but they didn't score. That's all I cared about. Nobody crossed the plate.
"It was some of the best hitters in the game. The adrenaline was flowing. I threw 42 pitches but that was good. It had been a while [since he last pitched]."
Webb makes quick work of relief appearance: Brandon Webb wasn't expected to pitch in the All-Star Game after throwing more than 100 pitches two days earlier. But with the game going into extra innings, NL manager Clint Hurdle approached Webb about the possibility.
"He goes, 'Well...'" Webb, recalling Hurdle's reaction, told The Arizona Republic.
"If you need a pitcher, you need a pitcher," Webb countered.
"I think that's what it's getting ready to come down to," Hurdle said.
Webb was called on to take the mound in the 14th inning and threw 13 pitches, retiring the side in order.
Wright was ready to pitch if needed: With pitchers running in short supply at the end of Tuesday's 15-inning All-Star Game, third baseman David Wright nearly got the call.
Wright said he last pitched in a game in Little League, but he was ready to take the mound if needed.
"I spoke to David Wright," NL manager Clint Hurdle told Newsday. "I told David, 'You were the last pick. I went and got you. Have you ever pitched in an All-Star Game?'
I said, 'You wanted to be in this thing. That's all I've read, all I've heard for the last three days. You won't believe how much you might be in it here real quick.'
"He said, 'Let's go.' He's good to go."
Jurrjens getting veteran tips from Hudson: With injuries hitting the Braves' starting rotation hard, the team has depended on youngsters like Jair Jurrjens to fill the void. In turn, Jurrjens has peppered Tom Glavine, Tim Hudson and John Smoltz with questions on how to handle various situations. Hudson, also a sinkerball pitcher, has been particularly helpful.
"He's always up to helping me, and I appreciate that," Jurrjens told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of Hudson.
Wood making his mark out of bullpen: Kerry wood, who has made the transition from starting pitcher to closer look easy, has gained the admiration of his teammates for his ability to make such a move. With four wins, 24 saves and an ERA of 3.02, Wood has done more than anyone might have reasonably expected of him.
"Woody never had a save in his life -- he only had 30 games out of the 'pen," teammate Scott Eyre told MLB.com. "To do what he's done, I wouldn't say it's amazing but the guy has good stuff, and he knows how to pitch. Is it amazing? He's doing what he's always done, and he's healthy now and having fun."
Saito aims to throw again this season: Takashi Saito is on the disabled list with a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow. Surgery is an option for the 38-year old, but Saito is hoping to avoid going under the knife.
"There is still a possibility of that happening," Saito told The Los Angeles Times, "but I want to try to rehabilitate over the next six weeks and pitch again this season."
After being down and out, Lincecum ready to go: Despite missing the All-Star Game with flu-like symptoms, Tim Lincecum threw on the side Thursday and is on track to start when the Giants face the Brewers on Sunday.
"The last time I ever felt that bad with my nausea was probably when I had a concussion in '05 when I got hit in the head with a line drive in the Cape Cod League," Lincecum told The San Francisco Chronicle.
Wainwright's finger on the mend: Adam Wainright, who has been sidelined for more than five weeks with a injured finger, was encouraged by a simple game of catch on Wednesday -- something he plans on doing again on Friday -- and says he feels that he's getting closer to returning to the team.
"It's healed exactly like it's supposed to," Wainwright, who is 6-3 with a 3.14 ERA, told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It's exciting the first couple times throwing to not have any pain, to have [the finger] feel normal again."
Liriano ready to make return from surgery: While he continues to work his way back from Tommy John surgery in the Minors, Francisco Liriano says he believes he's ready to return to the Major Leagues.
"To be honest, I think I'm ready now. I'm not the same guy I was in '06 coming from the surgery, but I think I'm ready to go. I'm not going to be that guy that quick," Liriano, who said his fastball ranges from 92-95 mph, told The St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I'm throwing more strikes right now. I feel way better right now. Back then, my arm was kind of dead -- I couldn't throw hard. Now, I'm throwing harder and throwing my fastball for strikes."
Dempster aims for a second-half surge: Ryan Dempster, who just a year ago saved 28 games in 31 tries for the Cubs, credits his off-season conditioning program -- which included building a gym in his Colorado home -- for helping him become an All-Star as a starter this season.
"When I was working out [in the offseason], it pushed me more than anything," Dempster told MLB.com. "If I felt tired or felt I was going to throw up or didn't want to run the next set of stairs, it pushed me.
"What I'd like is for my second half to be better than my first half. That's when all the hard work comes in. It's easy to have success in the first half -- you're fresh, everything goes OK. But can you keep it going?"
-- Red Line Editorial