A starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians was named the most valuable player of the 90th Major League Baseball All-Star Game from Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH on Tuesday. After throwing a perfect fifth inning with three strikeouts, Shane Bieber of Orange, CA received the honor.
Bieber threw 19 pitches in the fifth inning of which 11 pitches were strikes. He struck out Chicago Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras, Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte and Atlanta Braves center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr., as the American League beat the National League 4-3.
Bieber became the first Major League Baseball player since Pedro Martinez of the Boston Red Sox in 1999 to win the Major League Baseball All-Star Game most valuable player award in his home ball park. The only other player in Major League Baseball history to accomplish that particular feat was Sandy Alomar Jr. of the Cleveland Indians in 1997. That was the last time the Major League Baseball All-Star Game took place in Cleveland.
The Indians right handed pitcher was also one of three American League pitchers in the game to strike out three National League players in one inning. Liam Hendriks of the Oakland Athletics accomplished the feat in the sixth inning and Aroldis Chapman of the New York Yankees struck out three in the ninth inning while picking up the save. However it should be noted that Hendriks’s inning was not perfect as he gave up a home run to Colorado Rockies right fielder Charlie Blackmon.
Eight different American League players recorded a hit in the contest. The most valuable player award could have easily gone to Texas Rangers left fielder Joey Gallo, who hit a key home run in the seventh inning with two out off of Will Smith of the San Francisco Giants. The American League had two other extra base hits as Michael Brantley of the Houston Astros had a double in the second inning and Gary Sanchez of the New York Yankees had a double in the fifth inning.