You are currently viewing 2022 MLB All-Star Game – Best moments, takeaways from the American League’s victory in Los Angeles

2022 MLB All-Star Game – Best moments, takeaways from the American League’s victory in Los Angeles

The 2022 MLB All-Star Game came to Hollywood as Dodger Stadium hosted the biggest and brightest names in baseball.

It was familiar territory for Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who was just the sixth pitcher in the past 40 years to start the All-Star Game in his home park.

The American League extended their Midsummer Classic winning streak to nine games, defeating the National League 3-2, with New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton receiving All-Star MVP honors. Stanton went 1-for-2 at the plate with a home run. The AL is now 47-43-2 all-time against the NL.

Here is a look at some of the best sights and sounds from Los Angeles, and also check our reporters’ predictions to see if they were right.

Our favorite moments from the 2022 MLB All-Star Game

Alden Gonzalez: Shohei Ohtani lying flat on the Dodger Stadium dirt, arms stretched wide, head tilted to the side, staring off in disbelief. Moments earlier, Ohtani declared over the Dodger Stadium video board that he would swing at the first pitch — “First pitch, first swing,” he said — and then he delivered with a clean base hit.

But this is Clayton Kershaw’s house. His moment. And so he got his vengeance, picking Ohtani off first base for the first out in a scoreless inning. This is what the All-Star Game should be about — the best players talking smack, laying it on the line and demonstrably having fun while doing so.

Ohtani cackled to himself after Kershaw caught him leaning for his secondary lead. As he should.

Jeff Passan: With apologies to Giancarlo Stanton, Alek Manoah was the real MVP of the 92nd All-Star Game. And for that we have to thank the unlikely combination of technology and his right arm.

FOX mic’d up Manoah while he was on the mound for the second inning, and Manoah, the personality-filled 24-year-old Toronto Blue Jays starter, had a star turn. From the first National League batter he faced, William Contreras, it was clear that Manoah was the right choice to converse with play-by-play announcer Joe Davis and analyst John Smoltz. When Contreras struck out swinging on a 94-mph sinker, he punctuated it with: “Here we go! There’s one.”

Next up was Joc Pederson, who couldn’t catch up to a 93-mph sinker at the top of the strike zone, prompting Manoah to say: “Here we go! There’s two.”

When Jeff McNeil, the third batter, swung through a 95-mph fastball on his hands, Manoah said: “By you! Here we go!” When Manoah feathered a sinker over the inside corner for strike two: “Yeah, baby. Front door. Don’t flinch!”

He hit McNeil on a nasty 0-2 slider, bringing Ronald Acuna Jr. to the plate. Two fouls sandwiched around a ball left Acuna facing a 1-2 count.

“John,” Davis said, “what have you got for him on 1-2?”

“Make this slider look like a strike on the outside corner and make it disappear off the corner,” Smoltz said.

“I’m thinking a slider, too,” Manoah said, “but I think if I execute a good heater up, because he’s seen the sinker twice, something that stays true, might throw him off a bit. Think we’re gonna go with that.”

The fastball was straight at 94 mph. It wasn’t high. And that was fine. Acuna whiffed for Manoah’s third punchout of the inning.

“Right down the middle, but we’ll take it,” Manoah said. “Three punchies. Let’s goooo. Wooooo! That’s a hell of a bullpen right there. Let’s go win a ballgame.”

The American League, which trailed 2-0 after the first inning, obliged with a three-run fourth inning that held up. Like his final pitch on a night where he was nearly perfect, Manoah’s words were true.

Dave Schoenfield: It’s been a rollercoaster five seasons for Giancarlo Stanton in pinstripes. Heck, he was booed a week into his Yankees career after going 0-for-5 with five strikeouts, learning quickly that playing in New York is a little different than playing in Miami. He missed most of the 2019 and 2020 seasons with injuries. The Yankees have suffered frustrating playoff exits along the way. Stanton remains one of the biggest names in the sport, but this was actually his first All-Star appearance since joining the Yankees in 2018, which feels surprising.

Despite the ups and downs, there remains something spectacular about a Stanton home run — especially when it travels 457 feet, like his home run off Tony Gonsolin did in the fourth inning. It was the second-longest home run in the All-Star Game over the past five years, behind only Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s 468-blast last year. It also landed in the left-field bleachers — a place Stanton would often sit while attending Dodgers games as a kid. He thanked his dad for instilling a love of baseball in him. He choked up as he said it — no, it wasn’t winning the MVP trophy that led to the tears, not that Stanton won’t appreciate the award.

No, it’s the memory of a father and son going to a baseball game.

Updates from the 2022 All-Star Game

AL wins ninth straight All-Star Game

With the National League trailing 3-2 entering the ninth inning, an NL run would have meant this All-Star Game would have been decided by a home run derby. But Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase was having none of that as he struck out the side, retiring Garrett Cooper, Kyle Schwarber and Jake Cronenworth to send the AL to its ninth straight victory. Hometown kid Giancarlo Stanton earned All-Star MVP honors, thanks to his 457-foot blast that fell just short of the left-field roof. — Dan Mullen

Big dad energy

For the exceptional levels of big dad energy Clayton Kershaw exudes, rare is the opportunity at the baseball field to use it. That moment finally arrived at Tuesday’s All-Star Game, when a 10-year-old boy named Blake Grice, part of the credentialed media, stepped toward Kershaw at the end of the press conference following his scoreless inning pitched.

“I want to tell you a quick little story,” Blake said, and he proceeded to talk about his grandfather, Graham Grice, who put together a bucket list with Blake after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. One of those items: Meet Clayton Kershaw and Vin Scully, the legendary Dodgers announcer.

Graham died in 2014, and when Blake started tearing up, Kershaw stepped from behind the podium to comfort him. “Come here, dude,” Kershaw said. “Great to meet you. Thanks for telling me. That took a lot of courage to tell me that. Your granddad sounded like an awesome guy.”

Blake leaned in, wrapped his arms around Kershaw and hugged him. They took a picture together. On the night he started at his hometown stadium, Kershaw did not get the win. But when Blake’s tears turned to a smile, it was clear that Kershaw had gotten the save. — Jeff Passan

David Ortiz: Dugout analyst

Baseball Hall of Famer David Ortiz was in the AL dugout interviewing players and manager Dusty Baker. He even suggested Baker put him in the lineup.

Going back-to-back

Giancarlo Stanton hit a ball into Chavez Ravine to tie the game. OK, it was only 457 feet and 111.7 mph exit velocity. Do the Home Run Derby next year, Giancarlo! Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin didn’t even turn around. He also didn’t turn around as Byron Buxton, the next batter, followed with a 425-foot home run with a 107.7 mph exit velocity. We don’t have the official numbers going back to 1933, but let’s call it anyway: The two hardest-hit home runs in one inning in All-Star history. — David Schoenfield

Manoah mic’d up

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah gave an interesting take on his slider while mic’d up on the mound during the second inning.

All-Star dinger

The first home run of the All-Star Game came off the bat of St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Goldschmidt is the first player to homer in the first inning of the All-Star Game since Kris Bryant in 2016 .

Keeping his promise
Clayton Kershaw was on his way out to the mound when FOX’s Ken Rosenthal asked him about his game plan going into his first ever All-Star Game start.

“I’m gonna throw as hard as I can, it’ll be 91, we’ll see what happens,” Kershaw said over the big screen at Dodger Stadium.

When asked by FOX’s Tom Verducci about his approach, Shohei Ohtani replied, “First pitch, first swing.”

As promised, Kershaw’s first pitch traveled 90.9 mph. And, as promised, Ohtani swung, lining an opposite-field single. Moments later, Kershaw picked him off first base, paving the way for a scoreless inning. His fastest pitch of the inning? 91.3 mph. — Alden Gonzalez

Carrying on a legacy
On the same night as Rachel Robinson’s birthday, Mookie Betts wore this shirt to the All-Star Game. He then led a tribute to her.

Celebrating the Robinsons
After Denzel Washington read a video tribute celebrating the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, Mookie Betts and all the All-Stars came on the field to wish Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s wife, a Happy Birthday — her 100th. Well done, Mookie. — David Schoenfield

To give a special touch for the anniversary, FOX and production company The Famous Group teamed up to present a mixed-reality experience for the television broadcast and the fans in the stadium, projecting animated baseball cards featuring the Dodgers legend on the field along with Washington’s commentary.

“What this became is an opportunity to really showcase not only not only what Jackie has contributed over the years of his active life, and then even what he’s done, in terms of the mark, he’s left after his life,” said Andrew Isaacson, the executive vice president of The Famous Group. — Joon Lee

Let’s hear the boos

Yes, the dislike for the Houston Astros continues to run deep across the country. Los Angeles Dodgers fans booed all the Astros players — plus manager Dusty Baker, the longtime Dodger outfielder who was part of their 1981 World Series championship team. Say it ain’t so, Dodgers fans. To be fair, they also booed San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants players — with the exception of former Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson, who received a nice ovation. — David Schoenfield

Exceptional footwear

Teams and players showed off their footwear designs ahead of the All-Star Game.

Celebrity sightings

Celebrities like Denzel Washington, J.K. Simmons and Jon Hamm showed up at Dodger Stadium to take in the action.

Contreras family affair

Brothers, Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and Atlanta Braves DH William Contreras, both started for the NL. The last time brothers started in the same All-Star Game was 1992 when Roberto and Sandy Alomar Jr. did it.

“We were just two kids dreaming of making it to the big leagues and now making it to the All-Star Game,” Willson said. “It’s a dream. There are a lot of brothers that would love to do the same. Being able to play with my brother against each other, then with each other, will be the best time of our lives.”

ESPN’s All-Star analysis

From the All-Star Game to Cooperstown? Where every ’22 star stands ยป

Snubs, surprises & roster takeaways

ESPN’s 2022 All-Star picks ยป | Individual writer picks ยป

What makes an All-Star in 2022? Here’s what MLB All-Stars had to say ยป

All-Star swag: Best looks from L.A. ahead of ASG ยป

Pre-ASG predictions

Who will win the All-Star Game and by what score?

Gonzalez: These All-Star Games are often decided late, with the reserves on the field, and the American League’s superior depth and talent will win out in the late innings. With Jose Ramirez, Byron Buxton, Xander Bogaerts, Alek Manoah and Emmanuel Clase coming in late, it’ll ultimately be a boat race — the first in 10 years.

Olney: American League, 4-1.

Passan: The National League wins 2-1. At least that’s what my coin and die said.

Schoenfield: The American League has won eight in a row — make it nine, as the AL wins 5-4 with a late rally.

Who is your All-Star Game MVP pick?

Gonzalez: Shohei Ohtani has been pitching and hitting at dominant levels for more than a month, and he will continue to do so in the Midsummer Classic. He’ll be the easy MVP pick.

Olney: Aaron Judge, because the All-Star Game is a relay race of pitchers throwing as hard as they can — and nobody has done more damage on fastballs this year than Judge. Plus, he has had a knack for checking every box on his way to free agency and winning the MVP would be another.

Passan: In a close game, late-inning heroics lead to MVP trophies. So looking at the NL bench, it would be perfectly reasonable for Austin Riley — whose 11th-hour selection came 11 hours too late — to provide the timeliest of knocks.

Schoenfield: Easy. Julio Rodriguez, my friends. He comes off the bench and delivers the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning (off David Bednar, in case you’re curious).

What’s the one All-Star Game matchup you are most excited to see?

Gonzalez: Ohtani has never faced Soto, either during the regular season or in the All-Star Game. It’s unlikely this year, too, given that Soto isn’t in the starting lineup and Ohtani, who might start, won’t throw more than an inning. But one can dream. And this is a dream matchup.

Olney: Ohtani vs. anyone, as a hitter or a pitcher — a reminder of how ridiculously unique he is.

Schoenfield: I’m going off the board here since there are too many to choose from. But how about Mets reliever Edwin Diaz, who has struck out more than 50% of the batters he has faced (something only Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel have done over a full season) against Luis Arraez, this generation’s Tony Gwynn. As a reference: Gwynn faced Nolan Ryan 67 times and struck out nine times.

Passan: Ohtani vs. anyone. It could be Ohtani at the plate, as the starting designated hitter, against whoever is unlucky enough to face him. It could be Ohtani on the mound, as a pitcher, blowing 101 mph heat or unfair splitters or sweeping sliders or joint-locking curves. Ohtani puts the “All” in All-Star.

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