The 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City was over just as soon as it started, mostly thanks to the contributions by the San Francisco Giants.
With electric Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander on the mound to start the game for the American League, two players who were not even expected to start ended up being the biggest contributors on offense for the National League. From starting outfielder Melky Cabrera hitting the game's only home run and winning the MVP award to starting third baseman Pablo Sandoval hitting the first bases-loaded triple in All-Star history, the Giants either scored or batted in seven of the eight NL runs.
Prior to the final release of the NL starters for this year's All-Star game, both Cabrera and Sandoval were behind in the fan voting at their respective positions. With a huge push by Giants fans in the last week of voting, both players ended up winning the right to start for the NL to the disgust of many fans (mostly for Sandoval earning the start over New York Mets' David Wright) from around the nation. Had this surge voting not occurred, these two players would have probably seen action as bench players in the fourth inning or later instead of having the chance to contribute in a huge way to their team's win.
Sandoval was not the only Giants representative who found some redemption in his All-Star performance. Named the NL starter just a day before the game, some fans were enraged by manager Tony La Russa's decision to start Matt Cain over R.A. Dickey, a journeyman pitcher with an amazing and inspiring story akin to Ryan Vogelsong's surprising season from a year ago.
After allowing a leadoff single to New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, Cain shut down the next six AL batters before being replaced with the Washington Nationals' Gio Gonzalez in the third inning. Buster Posey, the last of the Giants starters, scored a run after drawing a walk in the first inning and caught five shutout innings from Cain, Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, and Clayton Kershaw.
Simply put, this year's All-Star game was memorable for the contributions made by all of the Giants representatives. Despite criticism and a big spotlight on them during the Midsummer Classic, Cabrera, Sandoval, Cain, and Posey stole the show and made a memorable moment that nearly did not occur.
NL All-Stars/AL All-Stars Box Score Tuesday July 10, 2012, Yahoo! Sports
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