ANAHEIM, CALIF. — The parade of pitchers who will take the mound for the National League in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game will begin with the first pitcher in a decade to reach the all-star break with 15 wins. Next could be a guy with a 1.70 ERA, followed by a guy with seven complete games and a perfect game in the first half, followed by the reigning Cy Young winner and league leader in strikeouts.
The National League has not won an all-star game since 1996, but never in the years since has it owned a pitching staff quite like this one. And if the Senior Circuit is to end its 13-season run of futility — and earn home-field advantage in the World Series for its champion this fall — it likely will be won on the backs of its pitchers, beginning with Colorado’s Ubaldo Jiménez, and likely continuing, in some order, with Florida’s Josh Johnson, Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay and San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum.
“Obviously, I’m not real excited about” facing them, said New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who is playing in his 13th all-star game. “They definitely have some tremendous pitching. It’s the best pitching I’ve seen them have in all my years.”