Believe your eyes: The National League has won an All-Star Game!
After nine straight losses to the American League, the Senior Circuit's skid ended, thanks in part to Colorado Rockies catcher Elias Diaz. Diaz's go-ahead two-run home run in the eighth inning helped seal a 3-2 victory at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
The AL still holds an overall head-to-head record of 47-44-2, but bragging rights belong to the NL until next summer.
Here are the highlights and our favorite moments from the Midsummer Classic.
Our favorite moments from the 2023 MLB All-Star Game
Alden Gonzalez: The shadows were brutal, the opposing pitchers were devastating, and yet Luis Arraez -- making a thrilling chase for .400 despite playing within one of the most difficult hitting environments in the game's history -- continued to make this look so easy. He saw two pitches -- an 87-mph splitter from Nathan Eovaldi and a 98-mph fastball from George Kirby -- and came up with two singles. He's a .383 hitter for the season and a 1.000 hitter in the All-Star Game. And over these past couple of days, Arraez got a sense for how hard others are rooting for him, particularly the likes of Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts and Ronald Acuna Jr.
"They say, 'Hey, go play hard and enjoy the game. You can hit .400,'" Arraez said. "I say, 'It's hard. I'm a human. But I'll try. Let's see what happens when I finish my season.'"
Jesse Rogers: As Alden said, the shadows early in the evening were brutal -- both for hitters and fielders. It had an immediate impact as Acuna blasted one to right field off of Gerrit Cole to start the game. Adolis Garcia fought the sun and the flight of the ball before making an awkward, leaping catch to rob Acuna of a hit. Moments later, Randy Arozarena had to do the same in left field, though the sun wasn't an issue there, snaring Freeman's opposite field attempt at extra bases. Both catches helped keep the NL off the board and ignited the AL partisan crowd. It got the game going with a buzz from the start.
Jeff Passan: The chant started the moment Shohei Ohtani stepped into the batter's box in the first inning. "Come to Seattle!" the fans at T-Mobile Park shouted -- a few at first, and then more, and eventually a contingent large and boisterous enough that the words rang around the stadium. They feted him again in his second plate appearance with the same chant, even if it was slightly inelegant. ("Come to Seattle" is one beat too many for the typical four syllables that proceed the clap-clap-clapclapclap.) This could be the start of something new. If serenading Shohei becomes a thing as he plays his final 2½ months until free agency, it will have started at the All-Star Game, where Ohtani heard Mariners fans loud and clear.