DENVER — OK, so maybe Shohei Ohtani isn’t perfect.
The Angels superstar was in the leadoff spot as designated hitter and on the mound as starting pitcher for the American League in Tuesday’s All-Star Game, an unprecedented feat. He worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the first — his only inning on the mound — but grounded out in both of his at-bats in the AL’s 5-2 victory against the National League.
White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn was next out of the chute for the AL and dealt a scoreless inning. With the Royals’ Salvador Perez behind the plate, Lynn retired the Braves’ Freddie Freeman on a one-hopper, the Reds’ Nick Castellanos on a pop fly and — after a walk to the Reds’ Jesse Winker — the Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto on a swinging third strike.
“A walk’s fine,” Lynn said. “I’m trying to strike him out. Got to get at least one.”
Lynn is a two-time All-Star, but this was his first time appearing in the Midsummer Classic. In 2012, while pitching for the Cardinals, Lynn didn’t didn’t get into the game in Kansas City. He was slated as the emergency extra-innings guy by NL manager Tony La Russa, also his skipper in St. Louis.
“When you make an All-Star team and don’t pitch, you almost feel like you didn’t make it,” Lynn said. “Now I can officially say I made it.”
Sox closer Liam Hendriks pitched a scoreless ninth.
MVP Guerrero hits monster shot
Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a 468-foot, two-run shot in the third inning that was the 200th homer in All-Star Game history. Guerrero was named the MVP.
Rules changes coming
You know those seven-inning doubleheader games everybody loves? And the adorable rule by which extra innings begin with a runner already at second base?
Don’t get too used to them. In a meeting with reporters, commissioner Rob Manfred indicated that neither rule is likely to survive the next collective-bargaining agreement. The current CBA expires Dec. 1.
Other potential changes include extending the DH to the NL, limiting defensive shifts and equipping umpires to announce replay decisions to the crowd.
Look who made it
Former Sox catcher Omar Narvaez, now with the Brewers, was one of the least-talked-about of the record 40 first-time All-Stars. He made it, though, which few who watched him play 221 games for the South Siders from 2016 to 2018 would’ve predicted.
He was slashing an impressive .300/.396/.469 at the break while handling an outstanding Brewers staff.
“I think you can tell how much I’ve been working to be here,” he said. “It’s been really hard work, but I think everything paid off.”