All-Star Game: Retiring Jeter gets start at shortstop

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jul 14 2014 02:00:43 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 14 2014 04:12:38 PM CDT

Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters

Some of the faces will change but one theme remains the same for Tuesday's Major League All-Star Game: A retiring member of baseball's most storied franchise will command center stage for the second straight year.

New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter gets the start at shortstop in his 14th and final Midsummer Classic looking to lead the American League to its eighth win in 11 years.

Seattle ace Felix Hernandez draws the start for the AL against St. Louis right-hander Adam Wainwright.

Nike will commemorate Jeter's All-Star farewell with the launch of a commercial titled " RE2PECT" on Tuesday night that features a who's who of celebrities as well as opponents and fans paying homage to the future Hall of Famer.

On the field, the AL will pit a stacked lineup featuring Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout and Nelson Cruz against a top-heavy National League pitching staff with two 12-game winners and a pair of 11-game winners. Home-field advantage goes to the victor -- no small matter since the winning league has taken home the World Series title for five straight years.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FOX

PITCHING MATCHUP: National League RH Adam Wainwright (12-4, 1.83 ERA) vs. American League RH Felix Hernandez (11-2, 2.12) Hernandez was an obvious choice for Boston manager John Farrell after he went 8-1 over his last 12 starts and has allowed two runs or fewer while pitching at least seven innings in his last 11 outings. A five-time All-Star and former Cy Young Award winner, Hernandez's only loss during that stretch came in a 1-0 setback to Texas on June 13. Waiting in the wings is reigning Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer of Detroit - last year's AL starter along with a pair of strong left-handed starters in Oakland's Scott Kazmir and Boston's Jon Lester.NL manager Mike Matheny of the Cardinals couldn't go wrong in choosing between Wainwright or Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who has won eight consecutive starts and has allowed one run over his last 45 innings. Wainwright has pitched at least seven innings and yielded two runs in 15 of 19 starts and is 4-1 with six runs allowed over his last seven turns. Zack Greinke is well rested and could follow Dodgers teammate Kershaw to the mound for the NL, which has such depth that Cincinnati 12-game winner Alfredo Simon was a last-minute replacement.

WALK-OFFS 1. The past two seasons have featured the first back-to-back shutouts in All-Star Game history, with the AL's 3-0 victory in 2013 cutting the NL's lead in the series to 43-39-2.2. Wainwright is one of two St. Louis pitchers (Steve Carlton, 1969) with at least 12 wins and an ERA below 2.00 at the All-Star break.3. Hernandez broke Randy Johnson's club record (2.20) for the lowest ERA by a starter at the All-Star break.

PREDICTION: National League 3, National League 2


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