We’re in Day Two of the All-Star Break, with no Astros baseball to comfort us. But, we do have an Astros player who will be in action tonight. Hunter Pence will take the field as a reserve for the National League.
We’ll have to see when/if Pence actually gets into the game. Last season, Michael Bourn was Houston’s lone representative, and he finished the game in the outfield while getting one late at-bat. Pence also got an at-bat in his only All-Star appearance in 2009.
We do know who the starting pitchers will be as Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay will face off with Los Angeles’ Jered Weaver. While Weaver is certainly a worthy pitcher to star the game for the American League, many were disappointed that Justin Verlander wasn’t able to start against Halladay. Verlander has arguably been as dominant as Doc this season, but since he pitched on Sunday, Verlander was ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game.
The other thing that struck me last night as I was watching the Home Run Derby is a graphic ESPN showed about the number of All-Stars selected. In 2003, there were 70 players picked for the game, while this year, there were 84. That’s a huge increase in the number of players who can claim that they were an “All-Star,” which then devalues the status of it even more.
Still, you can bet I’ll be watching and hoping for Pence to get in the game. Maybe he’ll tweet from the dugout…