This is Gerrit Cole’s sixth All-Star selection, but the Yankees ace is chasing starting pitching and the pedigree that comes with it. Meanwhile, Zac Gallen pitched his first midseason classic and, in many ways, is the epitome of the future Diamondbacks, who shocked their way into a tie for first place on most of their shoulders.
Those two arms will represent the American League and the National League, respectively, as starters for the 93rd All-Star Game on Tuesday at T-Mobile Park in Seattle (6:00 pm), named by manager Rob Thomson. of the Phillies and Dusty Panadero of the Astros.
In a historical quirk, the last time the midseason classic was played in Seattle in 2001, it featured a starting pitching matchup between the Yankees and the D-backs, between Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson. Cole became the first in pinstripes to do so since then and the 12th overall, while Gallen became the first for Arizona since Curt Schilling in 2002, after two consecutive starts for Johnson.
“I think it’s always been something that I wanted to do, and I felt like I had the physical ability to do it and I had the opportunity and I’m thankful that Dusty drafted me,” said Cole, who just joined in one of his previous five All-Star Games. , in 2015 when he was with the Pirates.
Cole became one of the best pitchers of his generation, a strikeout artist and a big power pitcher who made some significant mid-career adjustments that helped his career skyrocket. And while he’s still in pursuit of the prestigious award, twice finishing runner-up for the Cy Young Award and being part of the 2019 Astros team that lost Game 7 of the World Series, the start of a Midsummer Classic represents an important done.
“One of my best memories growing up is watching Pedro (Martínez) in the All-Star Game as a starter, and I’ve been to a few of them and had the pleasure of seeing future Hall of Famers do it. ,” Cole said. “I always say, ‘Man, I wish I could do that one day.'”
For all of these reasons, and with Houston’s Framber Valdez pitching Saturday, Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan on the injured list and the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani out with a blister, Baker chose Cole .
“The man has been here five, six times; It’s time for me to open a game,” Baker said. “And, plus, he’s one of the best there is. Besides, I love it. A lot of guys, sometimes they don’t want to pitch in this particular game, but he wants to pitch.
Another worthy candidate is Seattle’s Luis Castillo because of the obvious nod that it’s in his home ballpark.
“It was a little surprising,” said Castillo through interpreter Freddy Llanos. “Even though it’s my home here, there are some pitchers with better numbers, so I feel like they deserve it, too.”
Cole will certainly have his work cut out for him as he faces Ronald Acuna Jr., Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman to start the first inning. Acuña hit .425/.495/.700 (1.195 OPS) in the first inning alone.
As for Gallen, the 27-year-old right-hander is 11-3 with a 3.04 ERA and 125 strikeouts. He is tied for the Major League lead in wins and leads the National League with a 1.04 WHIP.
“We looked at the numbers and Zac’s numbers jumped off the page for us. … The numbers are unbelievable,” Thomson said. “So, he had a great year. Let’s get him healthy and move on.”
“It’s been a whirlwind, really,” Gallen said. “Yeah, I think I found out on Wednesday or Thursday morning, (D-backs manager) Torey (Lovullo) called me on FaceTime. So I had to tell white lies the last few days of my family and things like that.
Last year’s All-Star starting pitchers were McClanahan for the American League and Clayton Kershaw for the National League.
Here are the starting lines for Tuesday:
1. Ronald Coin Jr., RF (Bravos)
2. Freddie Freeman, 1B (Dodgers)
3. Mookie Betts, CF (Dodgers)
4. JD Martinez, DH (Dodgers)
5. Nolan Arenado, 3B (Cardinals)
6 Luis Arraez, 2B (Marlins)
7. Sean Murphy, C (Bravos)
8. Corbin Carroll, LF (D-Backs)
9. Orlando Arcia, SS (Bravos)
1. Marcus Semien, 2B (Rangers)
2. Shohei Ohtani, DH (Angelinos)
3. Randy Arozarena, LF (Rays)
4. Corey Seager, SS (Rangers)
5. Yandy Díaz, 1B (Rays)
6. Adolis García, RF (Rangers)
7. Austin Hays, CF (Orioles)
8. Josh Jung, 3B (Rangers)
9. Jonah Heim, C (Rangers)