2009 All-Star ERA: Tim Lincecum 4.50, Dan Haren 0.00

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It is quite possible that, if Dan Haren had started the All-Star Game tonight, the National League might have ended that long streak of futility. Unfortunately, he didn't, and a poor first inning from 'The Freak' - two hits and a hit batter - not exactly helped by Albert Pujols' error, let the American League score two runs. They went on to win by one, 4-3, and the National League extended it to thirteen years without a victory. This guarantees the American League home-field advantage in the World Series, which is how it has been every single year since the rule was introduced. Nice work, Bud.

Mixed fortunes for the two Diamondbacks who took part. Haren pitched a scoreless fourth inning, allowing only a harmless two-out single to Michael Young. However, Justin Upton, in his All-Star debut, went 0-for-2. He grounded out to short off Felix Hernandez in the sixth, then repeated the same out to lead off the ninth inning, facing Mariano Rivera . I had visions of him homering to tie the game up - that'd have been fabulous, as only one other 21-year old has ever gone deep in the All-Star Game [Johnny Bench in 1969]. However, it was not to be. Sure it was still a fabulous experience for him.

The result has basically no significance for the Diamondbacks, since the odds of us reaching the World Series are basically negligible. Baseball Prospectus currently rates our chances of even making the playoffs as less than 0.2%. So, all told, I'm not unhappy with the result - anything that makes it harder for the Dodgers, Giants, Cubs, etc. to win it all, is not something I mind too much. Two more off-days for Arizona will follow; the mid-season report-card should be ready to go tomorrow, and then the rest of the team rejoins Haren and Upton in St. Louis for the opening series of the second half, against the Cardinals. Here's to more errors by Pujols.

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