'Just special': Rangers trio represents in ASG

July 14th, 2021

DENVER -- When Adolis García and Joey Gallo stepped on the grass at Coors Field in the bottom of the sixth inning, they became the first Rangers outfielders to ever appear in the same All-Star Game at the same time.

While Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz were both American League All-Stars in 2009, Cruz did not play in the game.

The two outfielders have led the Rangers’ squad this season, with 24 (Gallo) and 22 (García) home runs at the break, and they both emphasized how fun the experience was at the Midsummer Classic, especially since it was García’s first trip.

It was a good day for the Rangers at Coors Field, as the American League defeated the National League, 5-2.

García went down swinging on three pitches in his first at-bat in the top of the seventh inning. He didn’t want to leave without a hit, though. He ultimately got one more at-bat and he made the most of it, driving a one-out double up the middle with two strikes, giving the American League a chance to extend their lead.

“I was excited for the first at-bat and was just really aggressive and didn't really see the pitches I wanted,” García said. “So during the second at-bat, I went up there with a different approach and settled down and just looked for consistency.

“It meant a lot to me, because I wanted to represent the team with a hit and not without one. I’m really content with everything, just to come here and represent our organization on the All-Star team.”

Gallo -- the MLB leader in walks -- walked in his only at-bat in the eighth inning. It was the first walk by a Ranger in the All-Star game since Adrian Beltre in the 2014 All-Star Game. Gallo is now 1-for-1 with a home run and a walk in two All-Star appearances.

Gallo added that he felt like he could enjoy his second All-Star experience more than he could when he first appeared in 2019, because he knows what to expect and it’s not as chaotic. He was happy to be the quasi All-Star veteran for the Rangers with García and Kyle Gibson both making their first appearances.

“That feels good, you know,” Gallo said. “The second All-Star appearance for me. It’s weird seeing that, I'm like ‘Wow, it's such an honor.’ But it was cool, because we had a lot of guys [from the Rangers] come out like our trainer and Adolis’ translator came out. I was kind of able to tell him how things will work and what to be prepared for.”

Gibson rounded out the Texas trio, becoming the first Rangers pitcher to make an All-Star appearance since Cole Hamels in 2016. He pitched a scoreless third inning, giving up just one hit, following two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani and former-Ranger Lance Lynn.

Gibson admits to being “nervous as all get out” before the game, but he settled in nicely.

“[Twins pitcher] Taylor Rogers was laughing at me, because I didn’t know what to do,” Gibson explained. “I was standing up, getting loose, throwing extra warmups. Then I got out there, and I really needed that 2 1/2 minutes to warm up. I needed those extra pitches.”

The first batter of the inning, Bryan Reynolds, smoked a line drive at an exit velocity of ​​93.1 mph out to the right-field wall, but Aaron Judge tracked it down for a loud out. Rangers pitchers have now worked four scoreless innings in their last four All-Star appearances dating back to 2013.

“I 100 percent thought it was gone,” Gibson said. “I left an 0-2 fastball right down the middle. But that’s the beauty of having a [6-foot-9] guy out there. It was definitely a sigh of relief to turn around and see him smiling back at me.

“I definitely went for the punchout on the first guy, and that was a lesson.”

Gibson made his first All-Star appearance in his ninth year of Major League service time. He’s led the Rangers' rotation with a 2.29 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 6-1 record in 17 starts this season.

He said that more than anything, he’s grateful for the entire experience for him and his family.

“It was crazy,” Gibson said. “You look around and you see how many amazing players there are around you, not just amazing players, but so many future Hall of Famers. It was just special. It’s almost too hard to process, just hard to put into words.”