NEW YORK -- Chris Sale did everything but win the Most Valuable Player award at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game.
To do that, the White Sox pitcher -- who earned the victory with two scoreless innings pitched -- would have needed a monumental meltdown from New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera in his 13th and final All-Star Game.
While Rivera, the overwhelming sentimental favorite who received a lengthy standing ovation when he entered the game in the eighth inning, won the MVP award, Sale was the most dominant.
The left-hander needed only 24 pitches to complete his work and then received a run of support as the American League snapped the National League’s three-game winning streak with a 3-0 victory in front of 45,186 at Citi Field.
Afterward, Sale deflected any talk he should have won MVP over Rivera.
[RELATED: Crain didn't expect anything less from Sale]
“There’s no other MVP in this clubhouse other than him,” Sale said. “He stole the show. Watching him was probably the coolest sports experience that I’ve ever had. That was awesome. I loved every second of it.”
While Rivera brought the crowd to its feet Sale silenced them with his first pitch when hometown favorite New York Mets All-Star David Wright grounded out to start the second inning.
From there it was smooth … well you get the idea.
At least for Sale it was.
Not so much for the National League hitters who rarely if ever have faced him.
After Wright, the lanky left-hander broke off two sliders in a strikeout that had Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez flailing. Sale ended his first inning with a weak fly ball from St. Louis’ Yadier Molina.
Troy Tulowitzki struck out in the third against Sale and his Colorado teammate, Michael Cuddyer, hit a weak comebacker. Sale’s then got Washington’s Bryce Harper to line out to third.
“I didn’t expect anything less,” White Sox teammate Jesse Crain said. “I knew he was going to let it go for two innings. … He’s tough to hit when you know what to expect, but when you don’t know it’s even worse.”
The dominant performance was a strong follow-up to Sale’s All-Star debut when he pitched a scoreless inning last July in Kansas City. Sale surrendered two hits, including one to Chipper Jones, but didn’t allow a run despite nerves.
“Just as nervous,” Sale said. “I was glad (Wright) swung at the first one. What a professional, what a guy, what a baseball player. Hometown, home park. Just ‘Don’t mess this up. Don’t mess this up.’ But it was fun for me.”
Biogenesis decisions could come soon
Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig didn’t go into heavy detail on Tuesday in regard to the Biogenesis scandal, which reports have said could involve suspensions for 20 players, including Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez.
Selig continues to believe Major League Baseball has the best testing system of the four major sports and cited only seven positive tests last year among 16,000 in professional baseball, including 4,200 in the majors.
Selig spoke to members of the Baseball Writers Association of America for 45 minutes on a variety of topics, including the Cubs’ planned renovations at Wrigley Field.
“It’s thorough, it’s comprehensive and it’s aggressive,” Selig said of the investigation. “We have to complete this investigation. I have to see the results of this investigation then we're going to move forward. Those are the only concerns."
Major League Baseball Players Association chief Michael Weiner thought appeals for players suspended in relation to Biogenesis could begin as early as September.
Crain impressed with Cespedes
Oakland A’s outfielder Yoenis Cespedes caught Jesse Crain’s attention at batting practice before Monday’s Home Run Derby. Crain had an idea Cespedes, who blasted 32 homers to best Harper for the title, was about to put on a show. Cespedes averaged 405 feet per home run.
“It was awesome,” Crain said. “I could tell during batting practice he was going to be good. I’ve only seen him hit in the games obviously, but he was impressive. Bryce Harper did a great job too.”
Crain might have left a good impression on Cespedes earlier this season. As part of his franchise-record 29 appearances without a run allowed, Crain retired Cespedes two days in a row in Oakland, both times with two runners on base.
“Yeah, I’m happy,” Crain said with a laugh.
Cabrera on White Sox
Reigning American League Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera can’t yet figure out why the White Sox are off to such a rough start this season. The two teams have only played three games this season and thus far Cabrera sees the South Siders as the same team that was in first place for 117 days last season.
“We’ve played only three games this year and they beat us two times,” Cabrera said with a laugh. “They looked very good against us. They scored a lot of runs.”
-- Weiner addressed reporters after Selig on Tuesday and spoke at length about his battle with brain cancer. Weiner is confined to a wheel chair and is unable to move his right side. “I don’t know if I look at things different, they just became more important to me,” Weiner said. “I don’t take the next morning for granted. … If I can find beauty, meaning and joy, it’s a good day.”