The All-Star Game was a Home Run Derby of its own, but which dingers were the best?
It's been quite the homer-happy few days at Nationals Park. First, the top prospects at the Sirius XM Futures Game combined to hit eight homers on Sunday, and then on Monday, the likes of Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber sent the crowd into a frenzy during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby. The fans seemed to love the dingers, so the MLB All-Stars must have figured, "Hey, let's keep the party going!"
To wit, the All-Stars set a record with 10 long balls on Tuesday during the American League's 8-6 win in 10 innings over their National League counterparts. Whose round-trippers were the biggest highlights, though?
10. Joey Votto, bottom 10, off J.A. Happ
We begin at the end. While Votto's blast put the total into double digits, it ultimately only made an 8-5 game one run closer. The NL was unable to tack on, so this falls to the bottom.
9. Willson Contreras, bottom 3, off Blake Snell
The Cubs' slugging catcher got the NL on the board after trailing 2-0 due to two solo homers. This one indicated that not only would the NL All-Stars be on the scoreboard, but also that they were prepared to dinger their way back into it, too.
8. Mike Trout, top 3, off Jacob deGrom
At this point, it's almost old hat for Trout to experience All-Star heroics, having led off the 2015 All-Star Game with a homer and winning the MVP in both '14 and '15. So, when he put the AL ahead, 2-0, it was more of the same.
7. Christian Yelich, bottom 8, off Charlie Morton
At first, it felt like the AL's three-run rally in the top of the eighth had put the game away after the NL had tied it in the seventh. Yelich proved that the National Leaguers weren't done quite yet with their second shot off Morton.
6. Aaron Judge, top 2, off Max Scherzer
The tone of the night was set early on by the 2017 Home Run Derby hero. Judge didn't compete in the 2018 edition -- perhaps it was because he knew that he would participate in an even better home run contest the following day.
Either way, fellow Yankee Luis Severino was more than delighted to catch his teammate's homer.
5. George Springer, top 10, off Ross Stripling
We were already reeling from the raucous beginning of the 10th inning when Springer sent Stripling's very next pitch into orbit for the ninth homer of the game. Much like what happened in Game 5 of the 2017 World Series, the Astros began extra innings with back-to-back blasts off a Dodgers pitcher.
4. Trevor Story, bottom 7, off Charlie Morton
Believe it or not, offense in the 2018 All-Star Game was actually quite dormant for a while. After Contreras' dinger made the score 2-1 in the bottom of the third, it remained that way until the seventh-inning stretch.
Once the action returned, Story took Morton deep for a game-tying solo shot. The derby was truly on.
3. Jean Segura, top 8, off Josh Hader
The shortstop was one of the last players named to the AL All-Star roster, earning his spot by way of the Final Vote. Astros skipper AJ Hinch was sure glad to have Segura on board when he crushed what looked like the game's decisive blow -- a three-run bomb in the eighth to vault the AL in front, 5-2. Nelson Cruz was ecstatic.
Segura might have earned MVP honors had it not been for even more unlikely antics by others later on.
2. Alex Bregman, top 10, off Ross Stripling
The actual All-Star Game MVP turned out to be Bregman, who broke the 6-6 tie in the top of the 10th by smoking a 2-2 offering from Stripling into the visiting bullpen.
Bregman had put on a nice show in the Home Run Derby the day before by launching 15 dingers in an ultimately-unsuccessful first-round matchup against Schwarber. This time, he had the last laugh.
1. Scooter Gennett, bottom 9, off Edwin Diaz
Despite Bregman's MVP, the most heroic homer of the night came off the bat of Gennett. It was special for a couple reasons. First, it broke the all-time All-Star record for most home runs in a single game with seven, passing the marks set in 1951, 1954 and 1971. It took 47 years for baseball to reach that plateau again, and they clearly went all-out.
More importantly, Gennett's blast was quite unlikely. Diaz had been lights-out all year for the Mariners, saving an MLB-best 36 saves in 39 opportunities with a 2.25 ERA and just two homers allowed. And yet Gennett got to him for the first game-tying homer in the ninth inning of an All-Star Game since Fred McGriff off Lee Smith in 1994.
That's the power of Scooter.