Why You Should Root for Tonight’s MLB All-Star Game to End in a Tie
If the score is even after nine innings, a tiebreaking Home Run Derby will decide the winning team for the first time
Pete Alonso of the New York Mets was unable to defend his back-to-back wins in the Home Run Derby and ended up losing his title to division rival Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals last night at Dodger Stadium. But, should tonight’s MLB All-Star Game end in a tie following nine innings of play, Alonso will have the opportunity for redemption.
For the first time, a tiebreaking Home Run Derby will decide the winning team of the Midsummer Classic if the score is even after nine innings. Instead of heading to extra innings, three players from each of the teams who have already agreed to participate will get three swings at pitches thrown by coaches. Once all 18 swings are complete, the team with the highest combined homer total will be declared the winner of the game. (Each player can take an unlimited number of pitches without it counting against their swing total.) If the teams hit the same number of home runs to create a second tie, each manager will select one of the participating players to take three swings to break the tie. This head-to-head format will continue until there is a winner.
If the second Home Run Derby in two nights is needed, the players for each side on Tuesday would be:
American League: Ty France, Julio Rodríguez, Kyle Tucker
National League: Pete Alonso, Ronald Acuña Jr., Kyle Schwarber
NL manager Brian Snitker, who guided the Braves to a World Series win last season, may want to revise his selections based on the way Soto performed on the big stage last night. For his part, Alonso is ready to go.
“I’ll be your guy,” Alonso recalled telling Snitker when asked to participate. “He had to tell me about the Home Run Derby stuff, because I didn’t know about it. I think it’s fun. I think it’s going to be a great event if that does happen.”
If the new format sounds a little cheesy, you may as well get used to it as it’ll be in place for the duration of the current CBA, which runs through 2026. It also may not matter as the All-Star Game has only gone to extra innings 13 times. That most recently happened in 2018 in a game the AL won 8-6 in 10 innings.
“Are they doing that? That would be fun,” Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman said of the new format. “We got Pete Alonso and Ronald, so I like our chances.”
We’d like ’em better if Snitker went with Soto.
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