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WASHINGTON — The 89th annual MLB All-Star Game turned into a Home Run Derby at Nationals Park on Tuesday. 

An All-Star Game record 10 home runs — 10 home runs! — were hit Tuesday night, and, when it was all said and done, the American League outlasted the National League in 10 innings (AL 8, NL 6).  Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was named All-Star Game MVP after hitting the go-ahead homer in the 10th inning.

Here are 11 things to know about the homer-happy 2018 MLB All-Star Game.

1. Nats fans still love Ramos

Hands down, Rays catcher Wilson Ramos received the largest ovation among non-Nationals players during pregame introductions. Ramos of course played seven seasons with the Nationals from 2010-16 before signing with Tampa Bay as a free agent.

You can see the Ramos ovation at the 2:25 mark here:

Athletics closer Blake Treinen also received a nice hand during pregame introductions. He played parts of four seasons in Washington before being traded away at last year’s deadline.

2. Scherzer lit up the radar gun

Think Max Scherzer was pumped to start the All-Star Game in his home ballpark? He threw his four fastest pitches of the season Tuesday night. Here are his five fastest pitches of the year:

  1. 98.5 mph in All-Star Game
  2. 98.2 mph in All-Star Game
  3. 98.0 mph in All-Star Game
  4. 97.9 mph in All-Star Game
  5. 97.3 mph on May 30 vs. Orioles

All those high-octane heaters allowed Scherzer to fan four batters in his two innings of work.

3. A Yankee homered and a Yankee caught it

The first run of the 2018 All-Star Game came courtesy of Yankees slugger Aaron Judge. He turned around a a 95 mph Scherzer fastball for a solo home run in the second inning.

The cool part? Yankees teammate Luis Severino caught the home run ball between warm-up pitches in the bullpen.

Judge is the first Yankee with a hit in the All-Star Game since Derek Jeter went 2 for 2 in his final All-Star Game in 2014. He’s the first Yankee to hit a home run in the All-Star Game since Jason Giambi took Billy Wagner deep in 2003.

4. Machado took a selfie with (future teammate?) Kemp

Matt Kemp, an All-Star for the first time since 2012, doubled to left field in his first at-bat Tuesday night. And, when he got to second base, Manny Machado pulled his phone out of his pocket and took a selfie with him.

Check it out:

Machado has been the focus of countless trade rumors the last few days and weeks, and the most recent rumors have him possibly landing with the Dodgers before the end of the week. So I guess Machado was preparing for the move by taking a selfie with a future teammate? Not a bad idea.

5. Trout continued to crush All-Star pitching

Another All-Star Game, another hit for the amazing Mike Trout. This year’s All-Star hit was a solo home run against Mets righty Jacob deGrom. To the Trout blast:

That is Trout’s second career All-Star Game home run. I would’ve guessed he had more. In his six career All-Star Games played — Trout was selected to the game last season but did not play due to a thumb injury — Trout has gone 6 for 13 with two doubles, a triple, two home runs, three walks, and two strikeouts. That’s a cool .467/.556/1.133 batting line against the best pitchers in the world.

Furthermore, Trout joined Hall of Famers Joe Morgan and Willie Mays as the only players in history with a base hit in their first six All-Star Games.

6. Votto’s error lets Segura play hero

The AL took an early 2-0 lead thanks to the Judge and Trout home runs. The NL rallied to tie the game on solo home runs from Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and Rockies shortstop Trevor Story.

In the top of the eighth, the AL regained the lead thanks to Mariners shortstop Jean Segura, who walloped a three-run home run against Brewers southpaw Josh Hader, who basically has the nastiest stuff in baseball. Hader left a fastball out over the plate and Segura banged it into the bullpen for a 5-2 lead.

It should be noted that, on the pitch immediately prior to the home run, Reds first baseman Joey Votto dropped a pop-up along the first base dugout railing. It was not a routine catch — Votto had to check to make sure he didn’t run into the railing — but it did clank in and out of his glove. The at-bat continued and Segura went deep.

7. Gennett saves the day … temporarily

Down two with two outs in the ninth? Scooter Gennett to the rescue. The Reds second baseman swatted a game-tying two-run home run against Mariners closer Edwin Diaz to knot the All-Star Game up at five apiece Tuesday night.

Check it out:

I hereby declare Gennett has too much power for a player to be named Scooter. He has 16 regular season home runs this year, and of course he had the four-homer game last year. A game-tying two-run shot against an all-world closer in the All-Star Game is quite the moment.

8. The ‘Stros give the AL the win

Astros hitters taking Dodgers pitchers deep in extra innings? Feels like we’re back in the World Series.

After Gennett tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, Bregman and George Springer hit back-to-back solo home runs against Ross Stripling in the top of the tenth to give the AL a 7-5 lead. The AL added another run later in the inning on a non-homer, if you can believe that. A sacrifice fly, specifically.

Bregman and Springer hit the sixth set of back-to-back home runs in All-Star Game history. Believe it or not, they are not the first set of teammates to go back-to-back in the All-Star Game. Dodgers teammates Steven Garvey and Jimmy Wynn hit back-to-back homers in the 1975 All-Star Game.

Of course, the Giants took the opportunity to burn their rivals after the back-to-back homers.

Ouch. Deep cut.

9. Happ records his first pro save

With Diaz having been used and Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel apparently unavailable, AL manager A.J. Hinch turned to Blue Jays southpaw J.A. Happ to close out the All-Star Game. He allowed a solo homer to Votto but otherwise slammed the door.

Happ, who is very likely to be dealt before the July 31 trade deadline, recorded his first professional save Tuesday night. He’d never picked up a save at any level, majors or minors. Then he got one in the All-Star Game. Pretty cool.

Perhaps the Blue Jays will try to use that to pump up his trade value at the deadline. Worth a shot!

10. Three true outcomes ruled the All-Star Game

The All-Star Game perfectly encapsulated baseball in the year 2018. There were lots of homers and lots of strikeouts. Also lots of walks too. The three true outcomes ruled the game.

Some numbers:

  • Total plate appearances: 90
  • Total homers: 10 (11.1 percent of plate appearances)
  • Total strikeouts: 25 (27.8 percent)
  • Total walks: 9 (10 percent)

48.9 percent of the plate appearances in the All-Star Game ended in a walk, a strikeout, or a homer. That is the highest three true outcome rate in All-Star Game history. The three true outcome rate is 33.8 percent for the 2018 regular season.

 Love it or hate it, this is baseball in 2018. Lots of dingers and lots of whiffs, which a few walks mixed in.

11. AL continues recent  All-Star dominance

For the sixth straight year and the 18th time in the last 22 years, the American League won the All-Star Game. Things have been extremely lopsided the last two decades. Here are the last five All-Star Game results:

2014

Target Field

AL 5, NL 3

Mike Trout, Angels

2015

Great American Ball Park

AL 6, NL 3

Mike Trout, Angels

2016

Petco Park

AL 4, NL 2

Eric Hosmer, Royals

2017

Marlins Park

AL 2, NL 1

Robinson Cano, Mariners

2018

Nationals Park

AL 8, NL 6

Alex Bregman, Astros

Now, that said, the all-time series is basically tied. The AL leads 44-43-2 and they’ve outscored the NL only 369-367. It is the first time the AL has led the all-time All-Star Game series since 1963. Pretty cool!

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